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of Wyoming 


Stimson Photo 

Wyoming State Archives & Historical Department 

April 7959 


ip^RsiTY OF mmm 


Fred W. Marble, Chairman Cheyenne 

James Bentley Sheridan 

Henry Jones Hanna 

Mrs. Lora Jewett Pinedale 

Mrs. Esther Mockler Dubois 

Mrs. Wilmot C. Hamm Rock Springs 

Mrs. Margaret E. Hall Moorcroft 

Mrs. Lx)rraine Stadius Thermopolis 

Attorney-General Norman Gray, Ex-officio. 



Lola M. Homsher Director 

Henryetta Berry Assistant Director 

Reta W. Ridings Historical Division Director 

Lewis K. Demand Assistant Archivist 

Loretta Taylor Secretary 

Diana Lucas Clerk Typist 


The Annals of Wyoming is published semi-annually in April and 
October and is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society. Copies of current issues may be purchased for $L00 each. 
Available copies of earlier issues are also for sale. A price list may be 
obtained by writing to the Editor. 

Communications should be addressed to the Editor. The Editor does 
not assume responsibility for statements of fact or of opinion made by 

Copyright, 1959, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department. 

A^^als of Wyoming 

Volume 31 

April 1959 

Number 1 

Lola M. Homsher 

Reta W. Ridings 

Published Biannually by the 


Official Publication 

of the 



OFFICERS 1958-59 

President, Mr. A. H. MacDougall Rawlins 

First Vice President, Mrs. Thelma Condit Buffalo 

Second Vice President, Mr. E. A. Littleton Gillette 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, Miss Lola M. Homsher Cheyenne 

Past Presidents: 

Frank L. Bowron, Casper 1953-1955 

William L. Marion, Lander 1955-1956 

Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody 1956-1957 

Dr. T. a. Larson, Laramie 1957-1958 

The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October 1953. 
Membership is open to anyone interested in history. County Historical 
Society Chapters have been organized in Albany, Campbell, Carbon. Fre- 
mont, Goshen, Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Park, Sweetwater, Washakie 
and Uinta counties. 


Life Membership $50.00 

Joint Life Membership (Husband and wife) 75.00 

Annual Membership 3.50 

Joint Annual Membership (Two persons of same family at 

same address.) 5.00 

Send membership dues to: 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Headquarters 
State Office Building 
Cheyenne. Wyoming 

Zable of Contents 


Dale L. Morgan 


W. F. Bragg, Sr. 


Fama Hess Stoddard 


T. James Gatchell 

THE HOLE-IN-THE-WALL, Part V, Section 4 53 

Thelma Gatchell Condit 


Compiled by Mrs. A. R. Boyack 


A Report on the Medicine Wheel Investigation 94 

Wyoming Archaeological Society 

Sequence in Northern Plains Prehistory 101 

L. C. Steege 


President's Message by A. H. MacDougall 


Ward, The Cowboy at Work 110 

Hoit, The Humour of the American Cowboy Ill 

Flannery, John Hunton's Diary Vols. I and II 112 

Westermeier, Who Rush to Glory 113 

Neider, The Great West 114 

Wilkins, Clarence King 116 

Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom 117 

Hopkins, Black Robe Peacemaker Pierre De Smet 118 

Dryden, Mr. Hunt and the Fabulous Plan 119 

Parsons, Smith and Wesson Revolvers 120 



Ferries of the Forty-Niners 4, 8 

Laura Inghram Bragg 32, 34 

Jehovah Jireh 42 

The Hole-in-the-Wall 54, 65, 69 

Oregon Trail Trek No. 8 78, 84, 88, 92 

Wyoming Archaeological Notes 95, 97, 99 

Maps : Hole-in-the-Wall 58 

Oregon Trail Trek No. 8 76 

^ = 

C^ 1) 

u -^ 


Zke Jerries of the Jorty- Joiners 

Dale L. Morgan 

\Among the experiences chronicled during the first year of the 
California Gold Rush, few come more graphically out of the diaries 
and letters of the Forty-niners than those contingent upon the 
crossing of the Wyoming rivers. These rivers, primarily the North 
Platte and the Green, had always been a disagreeable obstacle for 
overland travelers, but prior to 1849, men who took the Western 
trails were a self-sufficient lot, more than equal to getting packs 
or wagons across deep and rapid streams. The Gold Rush swept 
along in its headlong course any number of men of less practical 
background, not always well-equipped to-deal with the problems 
presented by a transcontinental journey, and we should have 
anticipated new and interesting scenes on the banks of the larger 
rivers ever) had the emigration not been of such stupendous pro- 
portions. /The pressures engendered by upwards of 30,000 men 
arriving atTiver crossings, clamorous to cross or be crossed, gave 
a further striking to this phase of the Gold Rush and of 
Wyoming local history. ' In another century, we can scarcely 
recreate the scene, but in recent years letters and diaries of Forty- 
niners have come forth in such numbers as to make possible rea- 
sonably comprehensive studies of the ferries they used, as of so 
many other phases of their life on the trail and in the diggings. 

The purpose of this article, a supplementary contribution to a 
study of the overland migration to California in 1849 lately pub- 
lished by the writer,^ is to quote as fully from the contemporary 
record as circumstances will permit, to show what the problems 
were at the various river crossings, how these problems altered 
from day to day, and how the Forty-niners behaved. There is a 
Umitation to the background that can be developed in even so 
relatively exhaustive a study, and imagination must supply some 
of those details — the cold nights, the blistering days, the constant 
wind, dust flung up continually and on all sides from wagons and 
animals in motion, the lowing of cattle and the braying of mules, 
laughter, profanity, and complaint, woodsmoke and the smell of 

1. The Overland Diary of James A. Pritchard from Kentucky to Cali- 
fornia in 1849 (Denver, The Old West Publishing Company, 1959). This 
work is accompanied by a chart of travel by all known diarists west across 
South Pass in 1849, together with a bibliography which describes and locates 
the 134 charted diaries. For fuller information on the various diaries and 
most letters quoted in the present study, see this chart and bibliography. 


frying bacon, sudden whorls of excitement when buffalo unex- 
pectedly charged through encampments, or when someone was 
injured or killed. The whole panorama of human experience on 
the Western trails emerges in fragments from the diaries of the 
Forty-niners as they crossed or camped upon the banks of the 
Wyoming rivers. 

The present study is strictly limited to the year 1849. Com- 
parative studies for other years should, and doubtless will, be 
made, but each year has its own distinctive character in the West, 
and our object is to gain an understanding of what happened in 

Wyoming is a mountain-desert State, and at first glance it is 
surprising that within its present borders run nearly all the rivers 
that Forty-niners had to ferry, once they had launched out from 
the west bank of the Missouri. True, those who started from the 
vicinity of Independence had to ferry the Kansas River at some 
point; and those who traveled by way of Great Salt Lake City 
sometimes had to ferry the Bear River. But nowhere else, not 
even at the South Fork of the Platte in present Nebraska, were 
Forty-niners brought to a dead halt by the need for boats. 

In the vicinity of Fort Laramie, the Laramie River occasionally 
— if only infrequently — had to be crossed by ferry, and during 
the height of the emigrating season, the North Platte 2 miles away 
con;: ■ itently had to be ferried. Because of different periods of 
high water, and to the extent that these river crossings were served 
by commercial ferries, it appears that in 1849, at least, both the 
Laramie and the North Platte could be crossed by a single ferry 

The second major ferry was situated at what was loosely called 
the "upper crossing" of the North Platte, covering about a 30-mile 
stretch of that river — from below present Glenrock to above 
present Casper. Farther west, the overland trail having forked 
just beyond South Pass, there were two crossings of Green River, 
one on the Salt Lake Road, slightly above the mouth of the Big 
Sandy, the other on the Sublette Cutoff 36^ miles farther north 
(about 5 miles south of present La Barge). ] A very few Forty- 
niners had trouble getting across Smiths Fork of Bear River, near 
present Cokeville, and in later years emigrants on the Salt Lake 
Road sometimes had to ferry Hams Fork when pushing on to 
Fort Bridger from the Green. But in 1849, once emigrants got 
across the Green, they had done with ferries in what is now 


It will be recalled that Fort Laramie, originally named Fort 
William, was founded by William L. Sublette in 1834, subsequently 
passed into other hands and became known as Fort John, and was 


rebuilt of adobe in 1841. The rebuilt post was situated on rising 
ground on the left bank of the Laramie, about 2 miles above the 
confluence of that river with the North Platte. About 1840-1841 
a rival trading establishment, christened Fort Platte, was erected 
on the same side of the Laramie, about a mile and a half below; 
it was just above this site that the swift Laramie was usually 
forded. Fort Platte, however, was abandoned in the summer of 
1845 and in ruins by 1849. Because Fort John, properly so- 
called, but by everyone save its owners called Fort Laramie, in 
seasons of high water could be isolated from much of its hinterland 
by the two nearby rivers, from an early date a flat boat was kept 
at hand. This boat performed the first commercial ferry opera- 
tions in Wyoming, though in a strictly incidental fashion. 

The Mormon Pioneers in 1847 elected to come west by a trail 
from Council Bluffs which kept to the north bank of the Platte all 
the way to Fort Laramie. They were not the first emigrants to 
use this route; the Thorpe company en route to Oregon in 1844 
had preceded them, following in a track beaten out by fur traders 
and Oregon-bound missionaries in the 1830's, but the Mormon 
record of the crossing of the North Platte at Fort Laramie gives 
us our first clear view of a ferry operation in present Wyoming. 
The various Mormon journals of 1847 relate how the Saints 
reached a point opposite the mouth of the Laramie on June 1, 
how next day their leaders crossed the North Platte in their le?ther 
boat, the Revenue Cutter, and how the factor at the fort, James 
Bordeau, after saying they could not go another four miles up 
the north side before coming to bluffs that would force them to 
cross the North Platte, offered the use of "a flat boat which will 
carry two wagons easily which we can have for fifteen dollars or 
he will ferry us over for $18.00 or 250 a wagon." This quotation 
is from William Clayton, who neglects to mention that the Mor- 
mons elected to do their own ferrying, but does say that they 
floated in the boat down to the mouth of the Laramie, whence 
"the brethren mostly got on shore and towed the boat [a half-mile] 
up to camp." The Saints began ferrying early on the morning of 
June 3, 1847, and finished next day. The boat was then returned 
to the fort.2 

Presumably it was this same flat-boat that was pressed into use 
when the first Forty-niners made their appearance opposite Fort 
Laramie on May 22, 1849. The front-running company was that 
of Captain G. W. Paul. No diary or letter written by a member 
of his company has yet come to light, but fortunately we are 
granted a viewpoint by Bruce Husband, then in charge of the fort. 

2. See William Clayton's Journal (Salt Lake City, 1921), pp. 208-213; 
and for additional details The Record of Norton Jacob, edited by C. Edward 
Jacob and Ruth S. Jacob (Salt Lake City, 1949), pp. 55-56. 


Courtesy State Historical Society of Wisconsin 
Fording Laramie Creek 

In a letter he wrote Andrew Drips on May 24, Husband said in 
part: "We had just got through . . . [whitewashing the rooms, 
repairing chimneys, etc.] when the first emigration parties arrived, 
keeping Burke and in fact all of us employed crossing their wagons, 
etc. etc. ... It is a great pity you left no robes here as I could sell 
inferior robes very freely to emigrants at 3 and 4 dollars each; 
as it is, no robes, no blacksmith to work, and no oxen or horses 
(all of which would be more than ordinarily profitable) to make 
anything out of the emigration excepting ferryage, which last will 
cease when Laramie falls. . . ."^ 

The first diarist to come along by the usual trail up the south 
bank of the Platte is Joshua D. Breyfogle, who writes on May 27, 
1 849 : "... continued on to Laramie Fork opposite Fort Laramie, 
where we are encamped as the river is too high to cross." His 
party lay opposite the fort next day, lightening their loads, but 
on May 29 Breyfogle wrote merely, ". . . crossed Laramie Fork 
to the Fort. . . .'"* 

3. Quoted in LeRoy R. Hafen and Francis Marion Young, Fort Laramie 
and the Pageant of the West, 1834-1890 (Glendale, 1938), pp. 132-133. 

4. MS. diary in Baker Library, Dartmouth College; microfilm in Ban- 
croft Library. A mimeographed edition was published in Denver in 1958. 


Others who crossed on May 28, like WilHam Kelly^ and Delos 
R. Ashley,*' mention no particular difficulties; and William G. 
Johnston, who came up on May 29 with the fear that the Laramie 
might be too deep to ford, found that "fortunately [it] was low 
enough to ford, being scarcely three feet in depth. Its width was 
about forty or fifty yards; its current strong."' During the next 
two weeks, only Charles Elisha Boyle and Peter Decker, traveling 
in a Columbus, Ohio, company, amplify the ferry record. Boyle 
wrote in his diary on June 2, "At noon we encamped on the bank 
of the Laramie a 100 yards or so from the mouth by which it 
discharges its waters into the N. Platte. . . . After we had rested 
and grazed our teams at noon some of the teams were ferried over 
at a dollar per wagon. The rest of us elevated the provisions, 
sacks, and baggage [i.e., raised the wagon beds] and forded the 
stream as we did the Platte ( South ) . The river is about 1 00 yards 
wide and about three feet deep and is very swift. Everything was 
taken over in safety."- Decker wrote more briefly, "Some Wagons 
passed Laramie River close by Fort on Ferry, We crossed a mile 
below at Ford by raising boxes on Wagon. River 200 yds wide 
pretty deep & current very rapid Water clear. . . ."^ 

During the rest of June, 1849, the Laramie was always deep 
and rapid enough to give pause to emigrants arriving on its banks, 
but only temporary high stages, resulting either from rapid run- 
off or from rains at its sources made it necessary to call into 
requisition the fur company's flat-boat. On June 11 Joseph C. 
Buffum observed, "The creek being high we crossed by ferry 
$1.00 per waggon,"^*' and three days later WilUam Chamberlain 
recorded, "toward evg came to the ford of Larimes Fork of the 
Platte near the fort — too deep for fording went up to the ferry 
opposite the fort — got baggage taken over & swam the 
mules. . . ."^^ 

These accounts of the crossing of the Laramie are explicit 
enough to locate quite closely both the fording place and the ferry 
site in 1849. Only one traveler, however, seems to have noted at 
all closely the place where the North Platte was ferried. It was 
most likely at or a little below where the Mormons had crossed 

5. William Kelly, An Excursion to California . . . (London, 1951, 2 
vols.), vol. 1, p. 154. 

6. Transcript of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

7. William G. Johnston, Experiences of a Forty-niner (Pittsburgh, 1892), 
pp. 120-121. 

8. Diary, April 2-August 26, 1849, serialized at considerable length in 
Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio, October 2-November 11, 1949. The 
quotation is from the issue of October 24, 1949. 

9. MS. diary in library of Society of California Pioneers; microfilm in 
Bancroft Library. 

10. MS. diary in California State Library. 

11. Ibid. 


two years before, for John H. Benson on June 17 remarked after 
crossing the Laramie, "Here we can see the flag of Fort Laramie 
and can see the trains from the north side of the Platte ferrying 
over at about the mouth of Laramie Fork."^- 

Probably the same flat-boat used to cross the Laramie was 
employed subsequently for ferry operations on the North Platte, 
though there is a small conflict in dates. Chamberlain indicates 
that the boat was still in use on the Laramie as late as June 14, 
though the record would go to show that the first-comers on the 
trail direct from Council Bluffs reached the North Platte opposite 
Fort Laramie on June 12. Isaac Foster, coming along by that 
route on June 15, wrote in his diary: "Arrived at the river near 
fort Laramie, and found the train before us had passed on the 
12th; also the U. S. mail [carried by Almon W. Babbitt in a light 
wagon] ; one man was drowned, they advised us not to attempt to 
swim the river, which is 200 yards in width." On June 16 Foster 
added, "Crossed the Platte over to Fort Laramie; which is situated 
in the forks on the south or Laramie fork about IVi miles from 
the junction. . . . there seems to be about 50 persons residing 
here, and seem to be doing a good business. ... we paid $1.00 
per wagon for the use of the boat to ferry us over."^'^ 

A similar record is that of George E. Jewett, who wrote on 
June 16: "... encamped 3 [miles] from Fort Larimie. Captain 
went to see about crossing found river too deep to ford and ferry 
crowded. Prospect of waiting till Monday." But on the 17th: 
"Drove up to the ferry in the afternoon. Boat poor. Had to do 
our own ferrying and pay $1.50 per wagon and swim cattle. 
Commenced crossing 1/2 past ten P. M., and got all over safe 
before sunrise. The Platte at this place is about 115 yards wide 
and a very swift current with hard gravel botton."^^ 

The next diarist to come along north of the Platte was Lyman 
Mitchell, who on June 21 camped "at the ferry at [or] near the 
fort." On the 22nd he wrote, "we worked all night last night 
trying to get our wageons a Cros the river here we found the last 
Company a head of us had just Crosed the river we borowed 
their roups [ropes] which was a grate acomadation to us as we 
had none — that would reach across the river & was obliged to 
work all night we did not get across but 5 wageons in the 
night our roaps broke three times & the Curent being so swift 

12. Transcript of MS. diary in library of Nebraska State Historical 
Society; microfilm in Bancroft Library. Oddly, what had by then become 
the "U. S. Ferry," operated for U. S. Army officers, in 1850 is declared 
to have been located "a short distance below the mouth of Laramie river." 

13. Rosea B. Horn's Overland Guide (New York, 1852), p. 16. Diary 
printed in The Foster Family, California Pioneers [Santa Barbara, 1925], 
p. 31. 

14. Microfilm of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 


that it was almost imposible for us to cross with it the river 
here is 350 feete wide about noon we broak our boat which 
detained us about 3 ours we guerate [got] ouers wageons all 
over at 3 O Clock.''^'^ 

Mitchell's diary entry suggests that the facilities afforded by 
the fur company had become incapable of coping with the volume 
of traffic, and that emigrants were having to devise their own 
expedients for getting across the North Platte. However, on June 
24 John Kip began a serial account of a ferry crossing, apparently 
involving the original boat. On the 24th: "Tomorrow morning 
we intend crossing the Platte; it will take us but a few hours, the 
river is less than 150 yards wide and usually at this time it is 
fordable; it is high now, but falling. We pay $1 50 per wagon for 
ferriage, in a week from this time it can be forded with ease. . . ." 
In a postscript next day, headed "South Side of the Platte," Kip 
added: "Last evening I was interrupted in writing; I have a few 
minutes leisure now, while the ferry-boat is re-crossing; our wagon 
came across a few minutes since; the whole train will be over in 
two or three hours. ... I have just been assisting in landing one 
of the wagons, the boat is returning, and I have a few leisure 
moments again. . . . The last wagon of the train will be over in a 
few minutes, then I shall be busy during the rest of the day."^^ 

Isaac P. Lord, coming up the south bank on June 26, (a day 
otherwise significant in history because during the course of it 
Lieutenant Daniel P. Woodbury in behalf of the U. S. government 
purchased Fort Laramie from the fur company, Pierre Chouteau 
Jr. & Company), commented, "On the north side is a large fine 
bottom land on which a number of wagons are waiting to be 
ferried over. They came from Council Bluff on the north side 
and have come to the end of the road."^^ Charles B. Darwin, 
following in the track of Lord, observed on the 28th, "some diffi- 
culty seems to be experienced in crossing platte & 1 50 is the 
ferriage for wagons. "^^ Cephas Arms, in a company from Knox- 
ville, Illinois, was one who crossed that day; he says: "at the 
river, instead of a good ford as we expected, [we] find that we 
have to ferry in a small flat-boat that will take only a part of a 
wagon over at a time, at $1.50 per wagon. It belongs to the 
Fur Company. . . ."^'^ 

Despite the optimism of John Kip, as late as the second week of 
July, — perhaps because of the almost unprecedented winter snows 
and spring rains, which lengthened the period of run-off — it was 
still necessary to ferry the North Platte: we find O. J. Hall saying 

15. Ibid. 

16. Letter printed in New-York Daily Tribune, August 22, 1849. 

17. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 

18. Ibid. 

19. Knoxville Journal, Knoxville, Illinois, October 24, 1849. 


on July 11, "'rolled up to Fort Laramie and ferried the river. . . ."-^ 
Soon after this, the North Platte must have become fordable; 
also, it may be noted, emigration was dropping off, for few were 
the Forty-niners who reached the fort after mid-July; the majority 
had passed by July 1. Perhaps to this late period belongs an 
episode that has escaped general attention. It has been said that 
all Forty-niners who reached Fort Laramie by the trail north of 
the Platte crossed the river here, but Byron McKinstry heard the 
following year that 84 wagons attempted in 1849 to ascend the 
north bank through the Black Hills, even if "only 8 ever got 
through."-^ Such a road was finally worked out in 1850, Mc- 
Kinstry being one who traveled it, and thereafter a crossing of the 
North Platte at Fort Laramie was at the option of the emigrant. 


The major ferry operation of 1849, the one that has left the 
deepest impression on the diaries of the Forty-niners, was that by 
which the North Platte was crossed at some point below the Red 
Buttes, where it ended its long northward course from its sources 
to turn east and foam down through the Black Hills to the 
junction with the Laramie. The crossing was plural, as will 
become evident, but in the beginning the expression referred to 
the ferry operated by the Mormons east of present Casper. 

The inception of that ferry the writer has described in an earlier 
study. ^- Briefly, in mid-June, 1847, the westbound Mormon 
Pioneers stumbled upon a profitable business, ferrying Oregon 
and California emigrants across the North Platte. They built a 
good ferry-boat, and when on June 1 8 the Pioneers moved on west, 
they detached for service at the ferry a company of 9 men under 
Thomas Grover with instructions to "pass the Emigrants over the 
river and assist the Saints" (the main body of the emigrating 
Mormons being expected along in a few weeks). Bargaining be- 
tween the Saints and the other emigrants had established a general 
rate for ferriage which was now fixed in the instructions; the fee 
was to be $3 in cash or $1.50 if payment was made in flour and 
provisions at States prices. 

The original site of this ferry was some 3% miles above present 
Casper, but to the annoyance of the Mormon ferrymen, emigrants 
bound for Oregon established themselves several miles below and 

20. Transcript of MS. diary in California State Library. 

2L Transcript of MS. diary; microfilm in Bancroft Library. 

22. Dale L. Morgan, "The Mormon Ferry on the North Platte," Annals 
of Wyoming, vol. 21, July-September, 1949, pp. 111-167. The article incor- 
porates the journal of William A. Empey, one of the ferrymen of 1847, 
with extracts from that of Appleton M. Harmon. 


remained on at the river for some time, operating a rival ferry. 
Appleton M. Harmon, one of the Mormons, amusingly says in 
his diary that on the night of June 20, 1847, several of his com- 
panions went down the river "to rekanorter the ferry below & 
see if it could be chartered for laramie post [i.e., cut adrift] . . . 
but returned about day light having found it well guarded & a faith 
ful watch dog." The result was that the Mormon ferrymen loaded 
all their traps aboard their boat "in quest of a ferrying ground 
below those a bove mentioned." They stopped a short time at the 
rival ferry while Grover asked "if they ware wiUing for us to fery 
at the Same place with them, and working in concert with them 
but they seemed to choose to run the risk a lone of gifting what 
they could So we moved on down the river a bout 2 ms & landed 
on the South Side of the river in a grove of Scatering cotton woods 
close by the road whare the feed is good & a good Cite for a ferry 
after a few moments consultation we unamously agreed that this 
should be the Spot." 

That the Mormon Ferry was thus changed in location has never 
been fully comprehended; it has been supposed that it continued 
where William Clayton's Latter-day Saints' Emigrants' Guide of 
1 848 placed it, 28 miles west of Deer Creek.--^ But the odometer 
record made for the U. S. Army in 1849 by Dr. Israel Moses shows 
that the Ferry was 2 1 % miles above Deer Creek-^ — in fact, where 
it had been relocated as described by Harmon; the site was at a 
bend in the North Platte just east of the present Casper Central 
Airport, some 316, miles east of Casper.--^ Here, rather than at 
the abundantly monumented site of the later Platte Bridge west of 
Casper, crossed those who used the Mormon Ferry in 1849. 

In 1848 a small company came out from the infant Great Salt 
Lake City to operate the ferry again; little is known of the ferry 
operations this year, except that Edmund Ellsworth (who had been 
one of the original ferrymen, and who was again to work at the 
ferry in 1849), was one of the crew.-*' The first year's experience 
had shown what the pattern would be; the Mormon emigrating 
companies would leave the frontier late enough to have no need 
of ferry facilities by the time they reached the mountains, but 
Oregon and California emigrants, having farther to go, had to 
get off earlier, and would pay to be set across the North Platte 

23. Clayton's data from the westbound journey of the Mormon Pioneers 
in 1847. The North Platte had become fordable, and the ferrymen were 
no longer there when he came east again in September, and evidently no 
one thought to niention to him the relocation of the ferry prior to the 
appearance of his Guide in St. Louis, early in 1848. 

24. The Moses log is printed in Raymond W. Settle, ed., The March of 
the Mounted Riflemen (Glendale, 1940), pp. 345-350. 

25. Compare the U. S. Geological Survey's Casper quadrangle. 

26. See again the article cited in Note 22, which briefly discusses the 
history of the Morman Ferry from 1847 to 1852. 


by experienced ferrymen. As yet there were few ways the Mor- 
mons could make their new home in the mountains produce an 
annual cash crop, so the North Platte ferry was an attractive com- 
mercial proposition as long as it was not picked off by Crows, 
Sioux, or Cheyennes. 

A North Platte ferry was also, therefore, something the Church 
authorities in Great Salt Lake City kept under observation. In a 
council meeting presided over by Brigham Young early in March, 
1 849, it was "Voted that bodies of men be sent to the Upper Ferry 
of the North Fork of the Platte and the Ferry on Green river, 
and that President Brigham Young appoint the men and have the 
ferries under his entire control." Thereupon Young "appointed 
Parley P. Pratt to take charge of the company to go to Green 
river ferry and Orrin P. Rockwell, Charles Shumway and Edmund 
Ellsworth to go to the Upper Ferry on the north fork of the 

The Green River ferry will receive attention later. The nom- 
ination of Rockwell for duty at the North Platte did not stick 
(he was detailed to go to California with Amasa Lyman), but 
Shumway and Ellsworth duly set out from the Mormon city on 
May 3. Others of the ferrymen were Appleton M. Harmon, James 
Allred, John Greene, M. D. Hambleton, Andrew Lytle, a Brother 
Potter, and two not yet identified. With them went Dr. John M. 
Bernhisel, dispatched to Washington to seek a Territorial govern- 
ment for the Mormons, and a few others, including Brigham 
Young's brother, Lorenzo, who was going to the States on business. 

Lorenzo D. Young's diary describes the journey of the company, 
which was generally uneventful until May 24, when Devils Gate 
was reached. Next day Young writes: "This morning stopped 
and bated at Independence Rock. The boys looked for a cashe 
at the Gate. Could not find it. I did not know until we had 
started. I told them I thought I knew where it was, consequently 
Bro. Lytle and myself started back. Got in sight of the spot when 
I discovered an Indian. He was soon out of sight, but shortly 
returned with five others in full chase after us. We put our horses 
under full speed and escaped them and got to our waggons. They 
came up and camped with us that night, seemed to be very friendly, 
but I for one had no confidence in them. The Brethren traded 
with them and started off. Bro. Hamilton [Hambleton] went back 
a few rods to trade for another skin. As soon as we were out of 
sight they pulled him off his horse, searched him and took his 

27. Latter-day Saints Journal History, MS. compilation in Historian's 
Office, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City. The 
quotations are under date of March 3, but the diary of John D. Lee gives 
the date as March 4, 1849. See Robert G. Cleland and Juanita Brooks, 
eds., A Mormon Chronicle; the Diaries of John D. Lee (San Marino, 1955, 
2 vols.), vol. I, p. 99. 


horse saddle and bridle laraett. We then came on to the mineral 
spring and camped for the night." 

This incident is soon reflected in the diaries of the Forty-niners, 
which gives us some insight into the ferrymen's state of mind. 
Indeed, next day, May 27, Young writes, "traveled on to the Piatt 
River, but are in constant fear of the Indians." Then on May 28, 
leaving the ferrymen, he "Crossed the River and [with Bernhisel] 
came on to Deer Creek and camped for the night. This day com- 
menced meeting emigrants for the mines. "-^ 

Appleton Harmon, after giving a brief account of the eastward 
journey "in company with nine others to keep a ferry at the upper 
crossing of the Platte River 380 miles east of Salt Lake Valley," 
with some mention of the robbery of Hambleton by Crows, says 
simply, "We arrived at the ferry the twenty-seventh of May and 
commenced ferrying the twenty-eighth,"--^ though it is evident 
that only their fellow Saints were set across the river on the 28th. 
A letter frojn Charles Shumway written subsequently relates that 
his company "arrived [at the Upper Platte Ferry] on the 27th, 
raised their boats [thereby showing that this had been the ferry 
site in 1848] , and found them in good order. ... On the 29th the 
first company of emigrants for the California gold mines reached 
the ferry, who stated that the road thence to the Missouri river 
was lined with emigrant wagons for the same destination."^" 

The Mormons had beaten their customers to the ferry by the 
margin of a single day. Next year the ferrymen, this time captained 
by Andrew Lytle, took the precaution of setting out from Great 
Salt Lake City two weeks earlier, and even that did not suffice, 
for they met the oncoming emigration so early as May 15, and 
so far along as the Dry Sandy, west of South Pass.-^^ 

It seems clear that the first company to reach the Mormon Ferry 
was that which had led the way to Fort Laramie, captained by 
G. W. Paul.^- But again we have no record until Joshua Breyfogle 
comes along, five days later. On June 3, about 10 A. M., Brey- 

28. Lorenzo Dow Young, "Diary," Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 14, 
p. 169. 

29. Maybelle Harmon Anderson, ed., Appleton Milo Harmon Goes West 
(Berkeley, 1946), pp. 53-54. This work corrects Harmon's spelling and 
omits some passages of the original journals. 

30. The date of this letter is not stated; it appears in L. D. S. Journal 
History under date of May 27, 1849, quoted from the MS. Documentary 
History of the Church, 1849, p. 85. 

31. See the journals of Appleton M. Harmon, Jesse W. Crosby, and 
Isaac C. Haight, all of whom traveled with the Mormon ferry party to the 
North Platte as members of a missionary company bound for England. 
Crosby's journal is printed in Annals of Wyoming, vol. 11, July, 1939, 
pp. 184-191, while a transcript of Haight's MS. journal is in the library of 
the Utah State Historical Society, with a microfilm in Bancroft Library. 

32. See my introduction to the Pritchard diary as cited in Note 1. 


fogle "came to the ferry kept by a Mormon, he has a black smith 
shop here for the accomodation of Emigrants he charged two 
Dollars a [piece] for each waggon and we have to swim our horses 
over we wanted to layby today but there is so many trains close 
behind us that we dare not do it we crossed the river and 
travelled up the right bank about seven miles where we are for 
the night. . . ."^-^ This camping place was about where the original 
Mormon ferry had been, and where most emigrants left the North 
Platte to strike over to the Sweetwater. 

William G. Johnston reached the ferry on June 3 some hours 
after Breyfogle, finding those in charge "men of respectable ap- 
pearance, well informed, polite, and in every way agreeable. They 
showed us specimens of California gold, the first we had seen. . . . 
We sold them a quantity of shawls, beads, trinkets, powder and 
lead, with which they will purchase buffalo and deer meat from 
the Indians." On June 4 Johnston said further: "The operation 
of crossing the Platte began at half after four o'clock. The ferry- 
boat, constructed of logs covered with slabs of wood, was propelled 
with long poles. It was only of sufficient size to accommodate one 
wagon at a time, with as many men as it was thought safe to carry 
in addition. The mules and horses swam across. 

"The stream was possibly two hundred feet in width, and had a 
rapid current. In places it was ten feet in depth, as shown by the 
propelling poles. The wagons were lowered to the rafts by man 
power, and by means of ropes drawn up the banks of the opposite 
side. Nearly four hours were consumed in the ferriage. We paid 
three dollars per wagon for the service, which was conducted 
without accident."^^ 

William Kelly came along this same day, June 4. In his 
narrative he says: ". . . to our great relief and joy, we found at 
the crossing a body of Mormons, strongly intrenched in a heavy 
timber palisading [doubtless the blacksmith shop], for their own 
protection and the security of their animals, as they informed us 
they had been attacked by the Crows en route; and as they beat 
them off, their numbers being then small, they apprehended an 
attack from a larger body. . . . [These Mormons] travelled all 
the way from Salt Lake, over four hundred miles, to establish a 
ferry, anticipating a large overland emigration, and knowing there 
was no other point of passing, they had finished two dug-out 
canoes since they came, on which they constructed a large plat- 
form, capable of carrying a loaded waggon in safety. This struc- 
ture they worked with three large oars, one at each side, and one 
as a rudder, getting over smoothly enough, but at a terrible slant, 
which gave them hard labour in again working up against the 

33. Breyfogle, op. cit. 

34. Johnston, op. cit., pp. 134-136. 


Stream, even with the assistance of two yoke of oxen pulhng on 
the bank as on a canal. . . . They requested payment of the ferryage 
in coffee and flour, allowing us a price that left a profit of 
two hundred per cent, and gave us a fresh way-bill [of the 
route]. . . :"^'' 

No less interesting is David Cosad's diary for June 5 : "Feried 
the north fork of the Piatt fair $3.00 the Mormons dug out five 
canoes an put timbers acrost them and run wagons on them & 
feried them a crost those Mormons had come from Salt lake for 
that purpose & they had Erected a black Smith shop to shoe the 
animals and set tire on the wagons for allmost all the Wagon tire 
was loose, The animals had to be swam a crost this swift stream 
three hundred yards wide, the [method] used for swimming, them 
was for one man to ride a horse & go a head of about 20 animals 
turn inn loose & all swim a cros the river. . . . here we saw the 
first California gold In quite cours peices they said if a man was 
Industrious & prudent he Soon get a pile of it, they wanted to buy 
coffee tea sugar & clothes of all kinds and pay the gold to take 
them to Salt Lake, they said the Indians had stole their horses & 
advised us to keep a Strick gard to them, travled 16 miles good 
camp, here we saw about 30 ox teames that woul not pay $3.00 
& went a three miles to Freemans old forden place but the river 
was too high and they obleege to return to the ferry."-^*^ 

By June 6 the Forty-niners were reaching the ferry in such 
numbers as to overwhelm the limited facilities. Delos R. Ashley, 
one of a small company from Michigan then travehng as part of a 
larger company led by the celebrated William H. Russell, tells of 
reaching the ferry that day and of having to wait till the 7th. 
"After 5 wagons crossed our team commenced passing. Were 
over at 12 M. Terrific storm. "^^ One of Ashley's fellow diarists 
from Monroe, Michigan, who tells of traveling 7 miles on June 6 
to reach the ferry, adds : "owing to the number of waggons ahead 
of us we were detained that day before we commenced crossing," 
but on the 7th they got their wagons over and swam their ponies.^^ 
Fuller accounts are those of Joseph Waring Berrien and Daniel W. 
Gelwicks, traveling with Vital Jarrott's company from St. Clair 
County, Illinois. Berrien tells of arriving at 3 P. M. on June 6 
at "the Uppei Platte ferry kept by some 'Mormons' who this year 
will make a little fortune should the river keep high. Here we 
found some 60 waggons waiting their turn to cross and as there 
was no possible chance to ford the river we were obliged to camp 
and wait for our turn also. The ferry Boat is 3 canoes secured 

35. Kelly, op. cit., pp. 174-176. 

36. MS. diary in library of California Historical Society. 

37. Ashley, op. cit. 

38. A transcript of this not fully identified diary is found with the tran- 
script of Ashley's in the Bancroft Library, C-B 101. 


together, the stream is very rapid and 100 yards wide and at this 
time is rising rapidly. The Mormons besides their Ferry have a 
Blacksmith shop here and are well patronised this season at high 
rates — ferriage for a waggon $3.00 The mules have to swim. . . ." 
On the 8th Berrien remarks further: "We got the remainder of 
our waggons over at 8 this morning and driving up our mules we 
left the ferry with some 60 dollars less in our pockets than when 
we arrived Six miles above the Ferry is the place where the river 
is generally forded when the water is low. . . ."•'^" Gelwicks' com- 
ment on the 7th is: "We lay all day at the Ferry. A large number 
of emigrants had reached the Ferry, which is kept by 10 Mormons, 
before our company, and had engaged the ferry, consequently we 
were detained a day and a half."**^ Selwicks agrees with Berrien 
that they were across the river by 8 A. M. of June 8. 

The composite diary for the Mormon Ferry comprised in the 
several diaries of the arriving Forty-niners is carried on by Peter 
Decker and Dr. Charles E. Boyle. On June 8 Decker writes: 
"Came to the Ferry of N. F. of Platte kept by a mormon charges 
$3^^ pr Wagon, several trails [i.e., companies?] here to cross. 
Also a B. Smith shop here. . . . Stream high, 10 ft deep 250 yds 
wide & rapid current. . . . Had snow here on the 30th of May. . . . 
260 wagons ahead of us Ferried over 40 Wagons to-day & will 
probably 50 tomorrow. "^^ This same day Dr. Boyle says, "The 
boat is made of two canoes fastened together about six feet apart 
by means of planks so that a wagon can stand upon them. The 
mules were forced to swim the river, which is 150 or 200 yards in 
width. As there were several teams in advance of us we had to 
wait our turn. And we will not get across tonight." He remarked 
that snow was in sight on the mountains, and that 10 days before, 
as the Mormons said, it had fallen "in the bottom where we are 
now encamped. "^- 

On the 9th Decker writes: "At day break aroused Swam 
mules & horses & Ferried Wagons over River by 7V2 O'clock. 
The 'latter day Saints' did swear at the Ferry although clever 
fellows One exhibited California gold & says it is there plentifully. 
. . . Large trains coming up & crossing the river about 100 
Wagons ready to cross. . . ." Dr. Boyle says: "This morning 
very early the word was given to prepare for crossing the river. 
Breakfast was not quite ready, but as only a small part of each 
mess was required to be on duty to assist, the remainder ate when 

39. MS. diary being edited for publication by T. C. and Caryl Hinckley, 
Bloomington, Indiana. 

40. Transcript of MS. diary in Illinois State Historical Library. 

41. Decker, op. cit. 

42. Boyle, op. cit., this entry appearing in the Columbus Dispatch of 
October 26, 1949. 


breakfast was ready, and then relieved the others who ferried the 
first wagons across which happened to be those of our mess No. 2. 
. . . We had some considerable difficulty in forcing our mules to 
swim the stream, and more to catch, them on the north bank." 

This day, June 9, John Boggs and Jasper M. Hixson reached the 
ferry in separate companies. Boggs says: "found 55 wagons 
before us to cross," and on the 10th "with a great deal of difficulty 
crossed our cattle and horses and wagons by 2 o'clock."*^^ Hixson 
found 100 wagons ahead when he too arrived at the ferry on 
June 9. The charge, he noted, was $3.00 per wagon and fifty 
cents each for men. On June 10 and 1 1 his company lay in camp, 
waiting for their turn to cross, and finally were ferried over at 
10 A. M. on June 12. Hixson says: "It was very tedious crossing 
with the large ox teams. There was a young man by the name of 
James Brown, from Howard county, Missouri, drowned in cross- 
ing. "^^ Apparently this was the first drowning in the vicinity of 
the Mormon Ferry in 1849; relatively few occurred here as com- 
pared with crossings lower down, where emigrants were soon 
undertaking to get over the river any which way. 

Several other diarists record the drowning of the young man 
from Missouri. One was James A. Pritchard who reached the 
ferry at 9 A. M. on June 10. "We found about 175 wagon ahead 
of us & we had to tak our turn. We however joined another com- 
pany or 2 & constructed a raft to cross our wagone on. After 
several efforts we succeeded in crossing 2 wagons, but we found 
the current so strong and the Raft so heavy and unwiealdy that we 
abandoned the project and awaited our turn which came in on 
Wednesday morning. . . . Tuesday 11 & 12 were sepent [sic] in 
washing our cloths shoeing mules fixing wagons Etc. Etc. . . . 
A young man by the name of Brown from Howard county Mo. 
was drown [ed] in attempting to swim his stock across the river." 
On the 13th Pritchard writes: "We commenced crossing our 
wagons this morning at the dawn of day, and by SVz A. M. 
[M. M.] Basye's and my train were both over. We joined to 
assist each other in crossing. Our mules were brought in the 
morning by daylight from where we had been grazeing them some 
6 or 8 ms out towards the bluff [Casper Mountain]. We put 
them all togeather, and swam them over the river before the sun 
rose, it being the best time to swim animals at this point. We 
crossed all safe."^^"^ 

A member of Basye's train, identified as a Dr. T. (perhaps 
William L. Thomas, but possibly named Taylor), wrote in much 

43. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

44. Transcripts of diary in library of California Historical Society and 
Bancroft Library. 

45. Pritchard, op. cit., pp. 88-89. 


fuller detail, saying that they arrived at the ferry at 6:15 A. M. 
on June 10. "This ferry is owned by a company of 11 Mormons. 
Here there is a blacksmith shop — We found 150 wagons in ahead 
of us. about 50 can be crossed in a day — Just before we arrived 
a young man by the name of Brown from Missouri was drowned 
in attempting to swim his cattle across — This accident appeared 
not in the least to produce more excitement than if he had been a 
dog although he was represented to be a young man of fine 
abilities, and esteemed by all who knew him — We found for our 
mules good grass, about 3 miles from camp to which we drove 
them. . . . 

"Tuesday 12''^ Nothing of importance occurred to day every 
Person attending to his own affairs Business here is quite brisk, 
wagons unloading, repairing, getting mules and oxen shod, &c. 
A general renovating takes place here, washing up [word illegible] 
For shoing a horse $3.00 an ox $6.00. Our riding horse wanting 
shoes, and as I had seen a great many shoes nailed on, concluded 
I could do it as well if not so neat as any person thereby save a 
dollar. An important item, as we are getting tolerably scarce of 
the needful. . . . 

"Wednesday 1 3 Crossed the river this morning and was ready 
to start at 8 oclock. We had no difficulty in swimming our mules 
and crossing our wagons — The boat is made by framing cross 
pieces across 3 canoes — over which sufficient width of plank is 
pinned down for the wagons to stand on. forming a very simple 
and safe boat — We paid for crossing $3.00. They cross on an 
average 60 wagons daily for which they get $ 1 80.00 This I think 
is better than gold digging. "^^ 

Another emigrant at the Mormon Ferry during this time was 
David Pease, bound for Oregon rather than for California. On 
June 10 he wrote in his diary: "8 miles from our camp this 
morning we came to the crossing plase of the platt and found that 
it was so high that it could not bee forded and the Mormens had a 
flatt boat built on three canoes on which they were crossing 
waggons at the rate of from 50 to 75 waggons per day for which 
they charged 3 dollars a piece and the emegrants had to swim there 
cattle a cross the river which is about 200 yds wide and verey 
swift which makes it verey difficult to get cattle a crost there was 
1 man drowned this morning in crossing cattle by his mule throw- 
ing [him] in the watter as he was heavy cloathed and the current 
swift he was carried down stream as there was near 200 waggons 
to take there turns on the boat a head of us we registered our 
names so as to have our turnes as they came then we all went 
to work to help 2 other companies build a raft with the calculation 

46. Transcript of MS. diary in Bancroft Library among George Johnson 
Papers. C-B 383. 


that we could get over sooner by so doing and after consulting 
with all hands it was concluded that we could not get over for a 
day or two so we sent our cattle out to a deep hollow in the 
mountains [Casper Mountain] 4 miles under a guard of ten men 
as there was no grass near by. we soon got our raft done and got 
one waggon on it and tried to poll it a crost but the current was 
so swift that it took them down stream in spite of all that they 
could do and after going down stream 1 mile or more they landed 
on the same side that they started when they hitched a rope to 
the raft and towed it up a gain when the[y] tried till night to get a 
rope made fast from it to both shores 

"June 11 this morning we got the ferrey boat to take one end 
of a rope over the river for us by which meanes we got a rope 
from the raft to each bank when we thought that we could soon 
get over but we soon found that the current was so swift and the 
rope baged so much in the watter that it was a difficult job to do 
aneything and after crossing 2 waggons on it we gave it up as a 
bad job and concluded to wait patiently till our turn came on the 
boat. [This sounds very much like another version of the struggle 
Pritchard recounted.] all those that had aney repairs to do went 
to work some cut of there waggonbeds and coupled up there 
waggons shorter and one that said his load did not exceed 18 
hundred weighed it and found that it weighed 23 hundred in ver- 
eous ways we passed away the day in carrying out provisions to 
the guard and so forth 

"June 12 we spent in watching our cattle and looking about us 
to see what was going on 

"June 13 this morning we drove in our cattle and swam them 
acrost the river. . . . after some difficulty we got our cattle and 
waggons all over and hitched up and drove 8 miles. . . ."^^ 

By this time the jam at the Mormon Ferry had become such 
that the emigration was backing up all the way to Deer Creek, 
and under the pressure of stark necessity, the Forty-niners were 
finding means to get across the river on their own. The first 
company on record to achieve an independent crossing managed 
the feat June 11, 4 miles below the Mormon Ferry, and within 
the next few days the emigration was spilUng across the North 
Platte along most of its length for 20 miles or so below that point. 
We shall examine these interesting developments in detail here- 
after, but we shall first describe the situation at the Mormon 
Ferry down to the end of the emigrating season. 

The diaries of the Forty-niners have given us a continuous 
11 -day record of the Mormon Ferry from June 3-13, but now 
there are occasional gaps in the daily record. 

47. Transcript of MS. diary in library of the Nebraska State Historical 
Society; microfilm in Bancroft Library. 


Joseph C. Buffum reached the Mormon Ferry — also often 
referred to by the emigrants as the Upper Ferry — on June 16 and 
"found 300 waiting here. Some were crossing on rafts. As we 
could not cross under a day or two we drove a mile and a half 
south and camped on good grass by a little creek. . . ." Until the 
19th he waited his turn, then crossed at noon with the remark, 
"$4 dollars per waggon toll price; swim the stock. The river here 
has a rapid current, and the boat is constructed of 3 canoes 
fastened together with planks making a passage somewhat unsafe. 
Several persons have been drowned at the ferries below. "^"'' 

While Buffum was waiting to cross, an interesting observer came 
along, B. R. Biddle, one of a company from Springfield, Illinois. 
He passed the new ferry at Deer Creek on June 16 without com- 
menting upon it, camping that night and over Sunday, the 17th, 
at a point 5 miles farther west. On the 18th he went on some 16 
miles to encamp near the Mormon Ferry at 5 P. M., meanwhile 
observing: "the road is crowded with teams, all anxious to make 
the ferry so as to have their turn; but the ferry not being able to 
accommodate them in time, they have had recourse to rafting. 
We spent the noon near the lower ferry [i.e., a middle ferry at 
Muddy Creek, 11% miles below the Mormon Ferry]. The 
number of those waiting to cross is increasing very fast. — We found 
over a hundred teams before us. The ferry-boat consists of two 
[sic] rough canoes, lashed together, and a few rough pieces of 
timber laid across them for the wagons to run on. They take but 
one wagon at a time. They swim all the horses and cattle. Several 
men and horses were drowned in attempting to swim over, as the 
current is very swift. They are able to take over from fifty to 
sixty wagons per day, at the charge of $3 per wagon. Six hands 
have charge of the ferry. — They have also a temporary blacksmith 
shop, and charge $4 for shoeing a horse, $8 for an ox, and other 
work in that proportion. They have ferried over, in the three 
weeks preceding our arrival, seven hundred wagons; and it is sup- 
posed, as many have crossed at other points — making the number, 
in advance some fourteen or fifteen hundred wagons; and, we 
suppose, we are in the first third of the emigration. Any one has 
the right to keep a ferry, or raft, and charge what he pleases." 

Biddle's company waited over the 19th, when Buffum's turn 
came, then on June 20: "Our wagons were moved up to the 
ferry, this morning, and our mules taken out to graze; we remained 
with them until 1 p.m., and then brought them in and swam them 
over without any accident. Our wagons were all got over safe, 
by 3 p.m.; when the government troops came up and took pos- 
session of the ferry, cutting off two wagons that had been in our 
company from St. Jo. This act, on the part of the commanding 

48. Buffum, op. cit. 


officer,'*^ was looked upon with indignation, and would have given 
rise to a conflict if our better judgment had not prevailed. Divid- 
ing a company by an officer of the government sent out to protect 
the emigrants, is an act too mean and contemptible for the 
meanest ox-driver on the plains to be guilty of. The Mormons, 
knowing how we had been treated by this government dignitary, 
determined to bring the two wagons over after night, and did so. 
By their kindness, we were reunited, about 10 o'clock at night. 
Preferring not to be in the neighborhood of the officers whose duty 
it was to protect us, we encamped, at 6 p.m. 3 miles from the 
ferry. "^° 

John A. Markle, who crossed the river lower down on June 20, 

next day passed Mormon Ferry and provides a useful observation, 

noting that it was situated "at the lower end of an Island . . . 

[called] heart Island. "^^ Vincent E. Geiger, another who had 

crossed below, on June 22 similarly remarked Heart Island, "so 

called from its striking resemblance to a heart," and on passing 

what he termed "the lower Mormon Ferry," commented that it 

had crossed over 900 wagons at $3 each, which would indicate 

that some 50 wagons a day had been ferried in the four days since 

Biddle's accounting. Geiger noted a rumor that a woman and 

seven children had that day been drowned by the sinking of a 
boat. -^2 

While Geiger was passing up the other side of the river, John 
Prichet was arriving at the Mormon Ferry: "We shall have to wait 
until tomorrow in the afternoon before we can cross. . . . The 
Mormons have established a blacksmith shop here also at which 
they are making lots of money. So that with the ferry and shop 
they have as good a gold mine as any in California." On June 23 

49. This was Major John S. Simonson, sent on ahead of the Regiment 
of Mounted Riflemen to Fort Hall. He had two companies of the Riflemen 
with him, as noted by Settle, op. cit., p. 166n. By the time the rest of the 
regiment had reached the upper Platte ferry, he was in Green River. 
Wakeman Bryarly, whose diary is printed by Potter as cited in Note 52, 
says (p. 118) that there were 50 wagons in Simonson's train. 

50. Illinois Journal, Springfield, Illinois, December 11, 1849. Traveling 
with Biddle's company at this time was Alexander Ramsay, whose diary 
has a briefer account: ''June 18th Started early & at fifteen miles distance 
arrived at the crossing of the Platte here we had to wait untill Wednesday 
evening before we could get over the crossing was done by means of a 
ferry boat made by lashing three canoes together & as the trains crossed by 
turn as they came up& a great many being before us we did not get over till 
the above named time. . . ." See his diary as edited by Merrill J. Mattes in 
Pacific Historical Review, vol. 18, November, 1949, p. 449. 

51. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. Mr. L. C. Bishop of 
Cheyenne states that there is an island in this location which, although it no 
longer heart-shaped, is probably the island referred to here. 

52. David M. Potter, ed.. Trail to California (New Haven, 1945), pp. 


he added, "Afternoon drove our stock into the river and swam 
them across and then ferried our wagons over. Got all over about 
dark and encamped on the bank of the river. Paid $3.00 for 
each wagon. ""'-^ 

E. A. Spooner, another who arrived on the 22nd and crossed on 
the 23rd, says, "The float is composed of two old boats or skiffs 
lashed together, and some old slabs thrown on them. The charge 
is three dollars for Wagon, and they will cross over about 50 in a 
day, requiring on their part the labor of about three men The 
cattle are swum over They also have a blacksmith shop here 
which is crowded with work ox shoeing ten dollars pr yoke & 
other things in proportion So that on the whole they drive quite 
a stiff business. "^'^ 

Henry Mann came along on June 24 to write in his diary: 
". . . we started this morig at Six after passing a no. of ferries, we 
came to the crossi[n]g of Fremont — only about 80 waggons were 
here, the ferries of the Emigrants have taken away their business 
at least 3/4. There are 10 Mormons here acting as ferry men 
& Black Smiths, and their rec'ts have averaged $200 per day, $20 
per man They charged $12 per yoke for Shoeing Cattle, and get 
all they can do. . . ."'""^ Across the river, Israel Hale this day 
wrote: ". . . passed the upper ferry, called the Mormon Ferry, 
about ten o'clock and made our noon about two miles above . . . 
In the afternoon we drove but a short distance when the road ran 
over the hill. It was a long one, tolerable steep and very sandy 
and may be set down as the hardest hill to pull up between this 
place and St. Jo. We soon returned to the river and came to the 
old ferry. It appears that the Mormons have removed the ferry 
a few miles lower down that the emigrants may cross and leave 
the grass unmolested for their Mormon friends."'^*'' 

This remark of Hale's, like Geiger's allusion to the "lower 
Mormon Ferry," doubtless reflects the expectation of some Forty- 
niners that they would find the ferry where Clayton's Guide led 
them to expect it; as we have seen, it had been in its present 
location since June 21, 1847. 

John H. Benson, who like some of these- other diarists will be 
quoted hereafter on the ferry operations going on below, reached 
the Mormon Ferry with his company at 10 A. M. on June 26, 
"and went into camp for our turn. . . . The ferry boat consist of 
three canoes fastened together, with two planks on each side 
running lengthwise for the wheels to run on. This will carry over 

53. MS. diary in Indiana State Library. 

54. MS. diary in collection of Fred A. Rosenstock, Denver, Colorado. 

55. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

56. Israel F. Hale, "Diary of Trip to California in 1849," Society of 
California Pioneers Quarterly, vol. 2, June, 1925, pp. 84-85. 


one loaded wagon. The cattle swim. They charge $3.00 a wagon. 
They can take in $100.00 a day for each ferry. There are ten of 
them. They can buy all kinds of goods and tools for a song. They 
will leave for Salt Lake as soon as the river gets fordable, which 
they think will be in about three weeks. . . . The river bank has 
the appearance of a town with the encampments." On the 27th, 
he says "we started ferrying over the river. All got over safely 
and camped on the west bank of the river."''" 

D. Jagger was another who rejected the lures of the lower ferries. 
On arriving at the Mormon Ferry on June 28, he "found a number 
of blacksmiths at work & a very good ferry manned by several 
enterprising & obliging young men from Salt Lake 10 of which 
left that place for this purpose on the first [3rd] of May last. 
There were about 60 Waggons waiting to cross, but by good 
management & luck we got ours over & swam the mules, at 
evening (price $3 per wagon) part of our company remained on 
each side of the river. . . ."'"'^ 

It will be seen that apart from some griping over the ferry rate 
and the price of blacksmithing services, the Mormons manning the 
Upper Platte Ferry got universally good notices from the Forty- 
niners; and it may be remarked that notwithstanding the extra- 
ordinary proportions of the emigration and the consequent pressure 
upon their ferry, the Mormons did not scale their prices upward. 
Some wagons, possibly by reason of their size or heavy loads, were 
crossed at a $4 rate, but all season long, the $3 rate otherwise was 
adhered to. A reason may have been that although the Mormon 
ferrymen were not answerable to any civil government, they were 
answerable to the Church authorities back in Great Salt Lake City : 
they were adhering to a scale of prices fixed by Brigham Young 
before they left home, the standard scale since 1847. 

Dr. (T. G.?) Caldwell is another who provides a testimonial to 
these hard-working ferrymen. On reaching the ferry June 27 
about 2 P. M., the day before Jagger got there, he says his com- 
pany "Entered our names to cross, when our turn comes. This is 
5 miles below the old crossing, of Fremont & others. They have 
but one boat here, which is a good one, & very careful hands. The 
Mormons appear honest so far as dealing with them They conduct 
matters very well here, & have a smithery with 2 forges, but charge 
high. They are numerous at this place. Swim the cattle, & 
charge $3.00 per wagon for ferrying." On the 28th he wrote 
further: "Mormon Ferry all day. About 60 wagons are cross'd 
per day. — This is better than going to the 'Gold Diggings' — The 
Mormons also trade for lame cattle." And on the 29th: "Cross'd 
the Platte at Merd" Travelled 6 ms. up river & camp'd. Roads 

57. Benson, op. cit. 

58. MS. diary in library of California Historical Society. 


heavy. From what I could learn, this is much the best crossing 
place. "'^*' 

Right behind Caldwell was Elijah P. Howell, who on June 30 
"reached the Mormon Ferry and crossed the North Fork of Platte 
River. . . . We ferried our wagons, but drove our stock into the 
river and made them swim it."*'" 

We have seen that during the fourth week of June, the Forty- 
niners showed an increased consciousness of crossing places above 
the Mormon Ferry. Now comes Lyman Mitchell, who writes on 
June 29 : "we continued up the river until noon & then we came 
to the last ferry on the Piatt we have passed six diferent Places 
where Emegrants were Crossing the river some had Canoose & 
some rafts one Company from Missourie lost two wagons by 
trying to cross on rafts. . . . 

"[June] 30 this morning we hitch up our team before brecfast 
6 miles to the old Morman ford up the Piatt here we bot 3 Canoes 
we then went up the river 3 miles to whar their was some 
[s] Catering Cotonwoods & dug out another to attach to the other 
3 in order to make it safe for our wageons we guarte [got] 
back to our Camp at 4 O'Clock. . . . 

"July 1 This morning, we guarte up & comenst smothing of 
our Canoo we finished it & fastened it to the other [July] 2 this 
morning we guarte up & . . . laid around the camp till 1/2 past 
3 O'clock this after noon & then & their our train come up but 
the wind blew §o hearde tha we Could not Cros over any of our 
wagons untie Sundown we worke all night at crosing [July] 3 
we finished crossing our wageons about noon & put things in order 
for to start the nexte morning [July] 4 this morning we did not 
starte as soon as we wished on the acount of the U S Troops we 
sold our boat to them & they agreed to cross us any time when we 
wished we left our cattle on the other side to feade we guarrte 
of [got off] at Eleven. . . ."«i 

Thus Mitchell brings into this chronicle the main force of the 
Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, marching west to garrison Oregon 
and establish a new post near Fort Hall. Major Osborne Cross, 
of the Quartermaster Department, who was detailed to command 
the Regiment's supply train, is also the principal diarist of its 
march, and consistently a source of useful information. 

Cross tells us that on reaching Horseshoe Creek in the Black 
Hills on June 26, he received orders from the commanding officer 

59. Diary printed in Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gaines, eds., Gold 
Rush (New York, 1944, 2 vols.), vol. 2, p. 1255. 

60. MS. diary in library of State Historical Society of Missouri; tran- 
scripts in California State Library and Bancroft Library. 

61. Mitchell, op. cit. 


"to fit out Colonel [Andrew] Porter with material to prepare a 
raft at the Mormon ferry on the North Platte, now eighty-seven 
miles from us. Although late at night it was compUed with, and 
he left the next morning early for that place." On June 29 Cross 
himself reached Deer Creek, and next day moved 10 miles up the 
North Platte to Muddy Creek, remaining over July 1. Cross's 
observations in respect of the lower ferries will be quoted later; 
but he decided that the third division of the Regiment should cross 
here, at what was called the "middle ferry," while the first and 
second divisions "should move up the river [11 miles] to the 
Mormon ferry, where we might attempt to cross on rafts, or use 
the ferry." On the evening of July 1 he and the colonel com- 
manding, W. W. Loring, set out for Porter's encampment, and 
about midnight reached the Mormon Ferry, where they learned 
"that the party we were in search of was up the river about four 
miles." Continuing on, Cross and Loring reached Porter's camp 
about 1 :30 A. M. on July 2. When daylight came, he says: "The 
raft was hastily put together, and every preparation made for 
crossing the river. It was soon found, however, that the length 
of time and the injury which the property would sustain by 
exposure would not justify it, when the Mormon ferry could be 
hired for four dollars per wagon and the same guaranteed to be 
delivered with its load on the other side of the river in safety. 
The raft was therefore abandoned and the ferry hired." 

On the evening of July 3, "several wagons of the first division 
were crossed, and instructions given by me to have the mules of 
the first division swim across early in the morning, which was 
accordingly done." On the 4th the first division succeeded in 
crossing, and the second division moved down to the ferry late 
in the afternoon to begin crossing. "This was the manner," Cross 
comments, "in which the Fourth of July was spent by the com- 
mand, while throughout the country, in every city and hamlet, it 
was kept as a day of rejoicing." The Regiment was far from 
having occasion to rejoice, for Cross says they were "so unfor- 
tunate as to have two men drowned. One of [them], wishing to 
get something from the opposite side, rode his horse into the river, 
and being fully equipped for the march, no sooner reached deep 
water than both man and horse went down. In the other case, 
one of the rafts was loaded with saddles and men. Upon reaching 
the middle of the stream an accident occurred by the breaking of 
an oar. Being carried down by the current, a panic [arose] among 
those on board. [They] rush[ed] to one side [and] careened 
it so as to induce them to think it was sinking. Losing presence 
of mind, the men jumped overboard and made for the opposite 
side. [They] all reached [shore] in safety but one. It was 
astonishing what little forethought and presence of mind the men 
evinced in many instances on the march. They remind me more 
of children than persons arrived at the age of maturity." 


Five wagons of the second division were got across on the 
evening of July 4, and as Cross says, "This morning [July 5], at 
a quarter after four o'clock, we commenced to ferry the remainder. 
We finished at two o'clock. . . ." He was disposed to recommend 
the general vicinity of the upper crossing of the North Platte as a 
site for a military post in the event Fort Laramie was found unsuit- 
able — and indeed Fort Caspar was founded here in 1865. "By 
establishing a good ferry here," Cross observed, "the troops could 
pay for the erection of a post, if the emigration should continue 
for a few years longer as large as it was this year. The price of 
crossing the Mormon ferry varies from three to four dollars a 

Lest he be criticized for the expedient he had adopted. Cross 
added: "The river is not over four hundred yards wide at this 
point and has a very rapid current. To have attempted to cross 
the whole command on rafts would have caused much delay, as 
well as the loss of property and lives. No emigrants crossed with- 
out losing a portion of their stores and wagons, while others lost 
their lives. Besides, the state of the country which we were to 
pass over rendered it necessary to lose no time in getting ahead 
of the great mass of emigrants, who were making every effort to 
push forward to get better grazing. . . ."*"•- 

Charles B. Darwin arrived at the Mormon Ferry immediately 
after the troops finished crossing. He notes in his diary on July 
5: "... in 20 miles we made the Morman crossing of platte 
here are three canoes tied together & planks enough for wheels 
& on it they ferried over at four dollars per wagon all who came 
in the order of their coming. ... as our load was insignificant 
after waiting two hours we had our packs & saddles carried over & 
after much work we swam over our ponnies. . . .""' 

Isaac S. P. Lord, coming up the north bank after a lower 
crossing, on July 7 recorded that 1500 teams had crossed by the 
Mormon Ferry to that time,'^^ which would go to show that only 
some 600 wagons had been ferried here since Geiger passed on 
June 22, an average of 40 a day. Either Lord's figure was incor- 
rect, or the volume of traffic had begun to drop off sharply. The 
latter explanation may well be correct, for we have record of 
only two diarists who crossed by the Mormon Ferry afterward. 

The first of these was Samuel F. McCoy, on July 12: "we 
reached the Mormon Ferry and, after some delay in arranging our 
effects, we were ferried over. The Mormons in charge were 
accomodating and willing to favor us in all ways, contrary to the 

62. Settle, op. cit., pp. 105-117. 

63. Darwin, op. cit. 

64. Lord, op. cit. 


reports we had heard concerning their suspicious and churUsh 

The last was E. Douglas Perkins, who had reached the Deer 
Creek area July 8, only to halt several days to "graze up" the 
cattle of his train. After an abortive effort to cross lower down, 
he and his companions went on to the Mormon ferry July 15. 
"Arrived at 1/2 past one — & were compelled to wait the ferry- 
man's pleasure till 5. Meantime I had one of my mules shod at 
the Mormon blacksmiths shop for which I paid only 1 .00 per shoe! 
Some 30 or 40 Mormons were camped here having come from 
the Salt Lake one month since to make money by blacksmithing, 
ferrying, & selling various articles and well had their time been 
put in. They had realized so their captain told me over 3,500 
from the ferry — 1500 from the shop & I dont know how much 
from the sale of sundries but judging by the price of whiskey, 
sugar &c. it must have been profitable The former article was 50 
cents per pint & a great demand for it at that, the latter 50 cents 
pr lb. Were ferried over at about 6 ... in very neat & expeditious 
manner, paying for wagons 2.50 each. Cross ['s] cart 2.00 and 
my packs 1.00. Mules all swimming a short distance above. 
These ferry boats are all constructed of trees cut some 12 or 15 
feet sharpened at each end & dug out canoe fashion and 5 of them 
lashed & bound together with poles & pins & they answer a very 
good purpose. . . ."''^ 

This same day, July 15, and again the next, as we shall see later, 
there are references by David J. Staples and J. Goldsborough 
Bruff to Mormons having to do with ferries at or below Deer 
Creek. If both were not mistaken, the Mormons in question were 
independent operators, having nothing to do with the Mormon 
Ferry near the site of Casper. This is clear not only from Perkins' 
diary entry, showing the Mormon Ferry in full operation at its 
proper site, as late as the evening of July 15, but also from what 
now appears about the abandonment of the ferry and the ferry- 
men's state of mind. 

Appleton M. Harmon says, concerning the closing down of 
operations, "About the last of July and after the river became 
fordable, we had earned and divided $646.50 to each of us. We 
each bought a wagon and oxen to draw it and started to the 
Valley. ... I had bought for myself eight head of oxen and four 
cows. We arrived in the Valley the fifteenth of August and found 
all well. . . ."67 

A much more remarkable insight into these events is given us by 

65. Diary printed in Pioneering on the Plains (Kakauna, Wisconsin, 
1927), unpaged. 

66. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 

67. Anderson, op. cit., p. 54. 


John D. Lee, who left Great Salt Lake City July 13 on a "picking 
up" expedition. At the fourth crossing of the Sweetwater, Lee 
says, he "met Capt. Chas. Shumway & company consisting of about 
50 waggons retur[ning] from Piatt River Ferry. They had some 
apprehensions of being attacked by a Band of Robbers that were 
secreted in the Wind [River] chain [of] Mountains, who were 
wa[i]ting for the Emigration to pass. Being aprised of their 
intentions, left the Ferry some 10 days Sooner. The company met 
with Good Success, having made about $10,000."*'''* 

Lee dates this encounter about August 5, but he wrote his narra- 
tive after returning to Salt Lake, and it is evident he met the ferry- 
men about July 28 or 29, for a Mormon named Robert L. Camp- 
bell encountered Shum way's party on August 3, apparently about 
half way between Green River and Pacific Springs.*''* If Lee's 
statement is otherwise correct, the ferrymen might have left the 
North Platte about July 18. The few known diarists who came up 
the Platte after July 15 crossed near Deer Creek, and make no 
mention of a ferry still in operation at the Mormon crossing. 

More than ordinary interest attaches to the Mormon Ferry in 
1849 because it was the only ferry on the upper North Platte 
operated throughout the season, and also the only one on which 
we have any amount of information on volume of traffic and 
financial return. 

Perhaps the most reliable statement on the earnings of the ferry 
is that by Appleton M. Harmon. Assuming that his share was 
one-tenth of the total returns, and that the tithing deduction came 
after the division he mentions, the total revenue from the seven- 
week ferry operation was $6,465. This is a good deal less than 
John D. Lee would lead us to think, but accords well with 
E. Douglas Perkins' note on July 15, that the Mormons had 
realized over $3,500 from the ferry, $1,500 from the blacksmith 
shop, and an unstated sum from the sale of sundries. The returns 
from the ferry are less than we should have expected, for if Isaac 
Lord was properly informed on July 7 that "1500 teams" (a phrase 
that usually meant wagons) had crossed by the Mormon Ferry, 
and if the average rate was $3, a total return of $4,500 from the 
ferry is indicated, quite apart from the smaller sums that would 
have accrued from carts, packs, and persons. It has been esti- 
mated that some 7,000 wagons reached Fort Laramie during the 
course of 1849 (although many were sold, destroyed, or aban- 

68. Cleland and Brooks, op. cit., vol. I, p. 112. 

69. For Campbell's account, see L. D. S. Journal History under date of 
September 19, 1849. That Lee's dates as given in his journal are awry is 
shown by the fact that several Forty-niners encountered him after he left 
Salt Lake, especially members of the Knoxville Company who met him at 
Pacific Springs on the evening of July 24; it is Cephas Arms who dates his 
departure from Salt Lake as July 13. 


doned at that point or farther along the trail) ; and it may be that 
as many as 6,000 wagons were subsequently taken across the upper 
North Platte by one means or another. If, despite the discrepancy 
we have remarked, Lord's figure of 1,500 can be taken as a 
general approximation for the Mormon Ferry, it might be judged 
that a fourth of the whole emigration crossed the upper North 
Platte there. However, a vitiating factor is that the military trains 
included some 300 to 400 wagons not usually incorporated into 
the totals for the year's overland emigration to California and 

The observation that 10 Mormons manned the ferry is con- 
sistent enough to establish the fact. Perkins' remark on July 15 
that 30 to 40 Mormons were on hand may indicate merely that the 
ferrymen were preparing to abandon the ferry, and had persuaded 
an emigrant company to stay on until they were ready to leave. 
Otherwise John D. Lee's observation on meeting the returning 
ferrymen is incomprehensible; obviously, 10 men would not have 
sufficed to take 50 wagons on to Great Salt Lake City. 

Only one artist is known to have depicted the Mormon ferry in 
1849. His drawing is an interesting one, though at insufficiently 
close range to display details of construction and operation. This 
artist, who traveled with the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, was 
once conjecturally identified as Lieutenant Andrew Jackson Lind- 
sav, but is now believed to have been William Henry Tappan, who 
in '1849 was a youth of 18.'^« 

70. The drawing was first reproduced to ilustrate California Letters of 
Lucius Fairchild, edited by Joseph Schafer as the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin's Collections, vol. XXXI, 1931, opposite p. 104. In the same 
work, opposite p. 80, is Tappan's drawing, "Fording Laramie Creek." 

Courtesy W. F. Bragg, Sr. 

1. Fred Bragg Home on Noble and Bragg Ranch, Nowood, 1909. 

2. Old Noble and Bragg General Store at Nowood in 1909. 

3. Band of Noble and Bragg Sheep in Camp on Winter Range near No- 

wood, about 1908. 

Photos by R. H. Stine. 

Caura hgliram Bragg 

Zerritorial Pioneer 

W. F. Bragg Sr. 

[FOREWORD. Miss Lola Homsher, Editor, asked my help in revising an 
interview with my mother which she had given more than twenty years 
before. Since my revision of the article was written, my mother has passed 
over the Great Divide as of March 30, 1957, in Worland, Wyoming. She 
leaves as survivors one son (myself) a daughter, Mrs. Donald J. Harkins, 
and a brother, Harry D. Inghram, all of Worland, one grandson, three 
granddaughters, seven great grandsons and three great granddaughters. 
One son, Robert, died in Lander in 1953 and another, Fred, in Denver, 
Colo, in 1954.] 

Coming to Lander, Wyoming in 1889 as a sixteen year old girl 
in search of health, Laura Inghram Bragg saw Wyoming pass 
through all phases from cow and sheep country to the electronic 
present. She staged it from Rawlins to Lander, taking two days 
for the trip. Now airplanes carry passengers over that route in a 
couple of hours. So much for speed and progress. 

Her husband was the late Fred Bragg, a pioneer stockman who 
died in Denver, Colorado, in 1917. For many years he managed 
the sheep and cattle firm of Noble & Bragg with the Circle Dot 
home ranch located at Nowood on the upper Nowood river in the 
southern end of Washakie County. 

Fred Bragg also came to the territory in his youthful days about 
1871. He was born in London, England, but being left an orphan 
at an early age was brought first to Bangor, Maine, by his uncle 
and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bragg. Later they came to Wyo- 
ming where the uncle was a masonry contractor on the erection 
of the famous old military post of Fort Washakie. When the 
Braggs first moved in to the Little Popo Agie Valley, Lander was 
called Camp Brown. The elder Braggs passed on many years ago 
and rest in the Lander cemetery. 

In his youthful days Fred Bragg clerked for the Indian trader 
J. K. Moore at Fort Washakie and became a friend of the old 
Shoshone chief, Washakie. Years later, as chairman of the organ- 
izing board of county commissioners for Washakie County he 
bestowed the chief's name on the county where his ranch was 
located. His partner for many years was the late W. P. Noble, 
another territorial pioneer, who was the first man young Bragg met 
when he stepped off a transcontinental train at Green River. 






Laura Inghram Bragg (1900) and Fred Bragg (1906) 

Mrs. Bragg's parents were Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Inghram of 
Burlington, Iowa, both school teachers. Her maternal uncle was 
William Coalter, another pioneer who arrived in Lander in 1885 
and built the first opera house in the town. Coalter brought in his 
theatrical troupes by stagecoach. Coalter's Hall, where all the 
cowboy dances were held and the girls showed the smoothness of 
their waltzing by dancing around the hall with china plates bal- 
anced on their heads, burned down in 1907. The Coalters are 
now deceased and buried in Lander. 

Upon arriving in Rawlins at that bygone time, Mrs. Bragg was 
met by her aunt Mrs. William Coalter and daughter, Camille, the 
late Mrs. Hector Mackenzie, and made her first jumpoff into the 
seas of sand and sage. 

"Lander was certainly a wild and woolly place," Mrs. Bragg 
said after reading over the interview of almost a quarter century 
before. "But I grew accustomed to it and liked it so well that I 
would not return home, much to my parents' disgust. My father 
had taught school for thirty-seven years. My mother had taught 
for ten, and they expected me to return and take up teaching. 

"As a green eastern girl, my initiation into the ways of the 
Wild West came when I left the train at Rawlins and saw the 
stage which was to transport me to Lander, about one hundred 
and thirty-five miles away. The stagecoach, one of these high old 
Concord affairs drawn by two teams of wild-eyed lunging broncs 
that reared up on their hind legs at the slightest provocation, 
waited for us. It was piled high with baggage and looked as if 
the strong Wyoming wind might blow it over. The horses prom- 
ised speed, if not safety, on our two day trip, part of it to be 
made by night driving. 

"We got into the coach with the other passengers. The two 
seats faced each other and were built to accomodate four with 


comfort but evidently they had to serve all persons who had bought 
transportation. There were five or six of us inside and two rode 
outside on the driver's seat. The driver was a famous driver 
known as "Peg" who had lost one of his feet in a terrible Red 
Desert blizzard some years before. 

"I had never seen a cowboy nor an Indian, and was frightened 
out of my wits at the idea of meeting one of these wild creatures. 
When the other passengers learned this, they enlivened the trip by 
telling me tall stories of cowboys, stagecoach holdups and scalping 
Indians. Everytime I dozed, somebody would yell "Yippee" and 
I'd wake up with a start, badly frightened, thinking perhaps we 
were surrounded by hostile Indians. 

"However the greatest adventure was going down Beaver Hill. 
It was two or three miles to the foot. We all got out and walked 
while the coach went ahead, wheels rough-locked for the steep 

"Somewhere around the foot of this dangerous hill was a stage 
station where we spent the last night before driving into Lander. 
It consisted of a long log cabin, as I recall it, divided into two 
rooms. There was a long table with benches in the kitchen where 
we ate our meals. In the other room were double-decked bunks. 
My aunt and myself spent our night in these bunks. We also had 
with us her daughter Camille who, years later, became the wife 
of Mr. Hector Mackenzie, a stockman of Lander. Mrs. Mackenzie 
died a few years ago and is buried in Lander. 

"The few buildings in Lander were then mostly of adobe brick 
but there were a few frame buildings. Among my girlhood friends 
were Mary and Em Dickenson, who later became Mrs. Missou 
Hines and Mrs. Wm. Johnson. Another was "Mag" Burnett, 
mother of former Governor Milward Simpson of Wyoming, who 
was the daughter of Finn Burnett. Lander was then the cowboy 
capital of central Wyoming. The big range outfits laid off hands 
when winter came on and the boys lived in Lander until "Green 
grass time" in the spring when the roundups again went to work. 
Dancing was one of the most popular amusements during the 
winter season. The waltz was very popular and I recall that 
contests were held. Girls wore their hair high up then and china 
plates were placed on their heads. Smooth dancers were supposed 
to circle the hall until the music ended without the plates sliding 
off their curls and bangs. 

"Among others I danced with was the famed outlaw known as 
Butch Cassidy. At that time Butch was just one of the pleasant 
gallant cowboys wintering in the Lander country. It was perhaps 
a rough and ready frontier period but it was then the boast of 
Wyoming Territory that a lady could go wherever she desired in 
the region without the least fear of molestation. Wyoming men 
were then — and so far as I can see now — very gallant. 

"I first met my husband at a Christmas dance and about eight- 


een months later, August 1, 1891, we were married. Our first 
home was a five-roomed frame house where we lived for twelve 
years. Our two older boys were born there. The original location 
was in the southern part of Lander. Later this house was bought 
and moved to the north part but I believe it is still used as a 

"My oldest son, W. F. Bragg was born there July 16, 1892 and 
my second boy, Robert, in the same room Dec 9, 1895 The 
little house sat in a part of a half block of land through which 
j-an a clear little mountain stream. Here Mr. Bragg pastured his 
horses for in those days everybody had horses. We also once 
owned a milk cow. All the Indians were friendly with him and 
it was a common experience for me as a bride to go into the 
kitchen and find a half dozen or more Indians standing around my 
cook stove waiting for me to feed them. We always did. 

"My husband then was active in the sheep business summering 
in the Wind River range around South Pass and Atlantic City and 
wintering on the Red Desert. But in the early nineties, believing 
the grass was getting short due to many new settlers arriving, he 
went north to the Big Horn Mountains seeking new grazing lands. 
He had wrangled horses in the Basin as a boy for the Two Bar 
outfit headquartering on what is now called the old Flagstaff 
ranch in the Canyon and Otter Creek country. Mr. Noble — who 
had held early day freighting contracts with the U.S. government — 
had also been in the Basin in early days. Noble, too, had operated 
one of the first cattle outfits at the present town of Tensleep under 
the "Running WP" brand. He sold out to the eastern combine 
known as the Bay State Cattle Company. So both the partners 
knew the Big Horns well as a stock-raising area. 

"The country was then so wild and primitive and trails so few 
that a half-breed Indian first showed my husband a safe road for 
sheep and wagons into the southern end of the Big Horns. Some 
of the operations, then, were around the town of Lost Cabin just 
then being developed by the late J. B. Okie. 

"Speaking of Indians, I believe it was about 1895 that I was 
returning from camp to Lander with my husband. We travelled 
in a buckboard and I had with me my oldest son. It was about a 
three day drive from our camp to Lander. Part of the trip lay 
across the Wind River Indian reservation and we made a night 
camp on the river not far from the mission and about twenty-five 
miles from Lander. 

"I recall that we thought it strange during the day that we had 
not met up with a single Indian. My husband knew and was 
friendly with most Arapahoe and Shoshone people and would gen- 
erally stop the team and talk with them. But this day we didn't 
meet a single Indian. After we had gone into camp and darkness 
had fallen, I noticed little flickering lights on the ridges all around 
us. I thought they were strange and also very beautiful and inter- 


esting. I asked my husband just what they might be. But he 
wouldn't tell me. Perhaps he feared he'd frighten me. We drove 
into Lander the next day. Our friends were horrified to learn 
that we had driven across the reservation. They told us that 
trouble had broken out with the Indians, that some were on the 
warpath, and that not a white person had gone from Lander across 
Indian territory during the past week. They had organized a 
home guard in Lander and the troops were out from Fort Wash- 
akie. This was my first and last real "Injun scare," and as I recall 
it, nothing much happened. But my husband had known well 
enough that night on the river that the lights I saw were those of 
Indian signal fires. 

"Folks talk now of wild and woolly days but we seemed to take 
such things as a matter of course. I recall that I was once wheeling 
a baby carriage down Lander's main street with one of my older 
boys in it — I forget which, just now. I had just passed the hotel 
then run by "Cap" Nickerson and was nearing the old St. John 
Saloon when a man came running out. He galloped across the 
wide street and ducked behind the Chinese laundry which sat 
right across the street from St. Johns. Then another man came 
running to the saloon doorway with a six-shooter in his hand. He 
started shooting at the man who was heading for the laundry. He 
missed him. But just as soon as the other man got behind the 
laundry, he drew a pistol and began shooting back across the 
street. I was not far from the line of bullets. I just stood there 
with my baby carriage listening to the gunfire. One man would 
shoot first from the saloon then dodge. The man behind the 
laundry would poke his head and gun out and return the fire. 
They went on that way for what seemed hours until their guns 
had run dry. So far as I remember they didn't hurt each other. 
I suppost I should have screamed and tried to run. But I didn't. 
I really don't know why. 

"Early in the nineties, my husband established our home ranch 
on Nowood Creek in the southern end of the Big Horn Basin. 
The counties had not been divided then as now and I believe our 
location was in Big Horn County. Part of our range lay also in 
Fremont and Natrona counties. Years later my husband helped 
to establish Washakie County and was chairman of the first board 
of county commissioners, first receiving office by appointment of 
the governor then being elected for a second term. 

"Homesteads were being taken up and men kept up fast teams 
for races to the land office at Buffalo to file on particular pieces of 
range. My husband kept such a team always ready, grain-fed, 
for the run. When he came to such dangerous hills as Crazy 
Woman Hill he would chop down a small pine tree and hook it to 
the back of the buckboard to drag and serve as a brake. 

"Our first ranch was purchased from Jack Meade, an old timer, 
who dwelt there in a dugout which later served as our potato 


cellar. When I was driven to the place by Mr. Pogue of Lander 
with my two boys, our cookshack was a two room log cabin with a 
dirt roof and a hole in it. For several years this was the main 
residence at Nowood. We lived in a tent since the cook lived in 
the extra room. Later my husband built a two story home there 
known as the "Big Tepee" which still stands and is in use. A 
pioneer carpenter named Dug Hendrickson built this house which 
was covered with galvanized iron painted to resemble bricks. A 
shearing pen and a general store were also built which for years 
served most of the sheep outfits summering in the big Horns. 
There were years when more than 100,000 head of sheep were 
sheared at Nowood. The bags of wool were then hauled by jerk- 
line freight outfits to the nearest railroad point at Casper. Later, 
when the Northwestern built to Lander, Moneta was our freight 
point, and then with the arrival of the Burlington, Lysite. 

"Mr. Bragg also built a schoolhouse at Nowood and turned it 
over to the county. We wished to have it serve also as a place 
for dances but this idea didn't seem to fit in with the school laws 
then. Until a few years ago, this old schoolhouse still stood at 
Nowood and my second boy attended school there. 

"These rangeland dances were interesting and we often held 
them at Nowood, particularly around Christmas time. Folks 
would drive in from miles around. I remember one big dance 
after we built our home. We danced in the parlor and the dining 
room after we had entertained more than a hundred people at 
supper serving such items as roast turkey. Then at midnight we 
had a second snack, probably a side of beef, and then we danced 
until day came, and along with it, breakfast. We danced to the 
tune of frontier fiddles and guitars. A famous old fiddler was 
Johnny Settles who played a violin which he called "Old Sister. 

"Then we had sadness, too. A nice old lady, mother of a 
nearby rancher, died at her log cabin home. Mr. Truesdell who 
ran the store and was a very good carpenter made the casket for 
the old lady and I trimmed it inside with some of the lace from my 
wedding dress. This old lady's lonely grave is somewhere above 
the Nowood not far north of our ranch. 

"In the early days at the ranch we had many "tough" characters 
happen by who might, without too much reason, try to shoot up 
the place. Two masked outlaws rode in one night from the bad- 
lands during the shearing season and held up the store with guns. 
It was fust getting dark and Mr. Truesdell, the clerk, had stepped 
behind the counter to check the cash register for the day's trade. 
We used big oil lamps then suspended on chains. The lamp had 
been pulled down by Truesdell. One of these outlaws came in the 
front door while the other went to the rear. They wore scarfs 
over their faces as though to keep out dust. The inside man called 
the few loungers in the store over to the cigar case to treat them to 
smokes. Truesdell stood just behind this case working over the 


"The outlaw threw down with a gun on Truesdell and said 
'Throw Up Your Hands.'- Then he added. 'Step out from behind 
the counter.' 

"Truesdell had not been west too long and he had been "joshed" 
by the men. 

"Truesdell thought the gunman was trying to "josh" him. He 
was behind anyway with his work. So without turning his head, 
he said bruskly. 'Quit your fooling. Can't you see I'm busy.' 

"This must have angered the outlaw for he shouted, 'I mean 
business!' He fired his gun at Truesdell. His aim was off. The 
bullet whipped past the oil lamp and put it out. The bullet then 
tore through a can of peaches on the store shelf and out through 
the store wall. If you ever go to Nowood, the old store building is 
there and one should be able to find that bullet hole. 

"The moment the boys down in the bunkhouse heard the shot, 
they grabbed guns and started for the store. The man on guard 
at the rear door heard them coming. He called an alarm. His 
gunman pal turned and ran from the store. They got on their 
ponies, tied until then at the hitchrack, and escaped into the 
badlands. Later two suspects were arrested over on Poison Creek 
near where Moneta now stands. One was a character then known 
as "Stuttering Dick." I forget just what happened then but I 
believe they escaped again. 

"I remember that I was down in the cook shack with my little 
boy, Bobby. We were just through with supper and he was going 
to bed. I had a diamond ring and some other jewelry. Those 
were the days when the Hole-In-The-Wall gang was riding high 
and handsome. They never bothered us but everybody knew 
about them. I remember that our cook — I think his name was 
Billy Mitchell^took my jewelry and bundled it all up and threw 
it into his woodbox to save it if the gang raided the place. 

"Those were the days, too, of trouble over grazing between 
sheep and cattle outfits. Mr. Bragg ran both sheep and cattle and 
always tried to respect the rights of other stockmen. There was a 
deadline not far from our place on Nowater where one of our 
friends, Ben Minick, was shot to death in his sheep wagon and 
his sheep were dynamited because he had gone over the line. Our 
range foreman, Charley Berger, was with Ben when he died and 
brought the body into Nowood. Truesdell made a casket and the 
body was kept in our warehouse until it could be sent east. 

"My husband's attitude was that no herd of sheep was worth a 
man's life. His men were always under orders not to show resist- 
ance if they ran into overpowering force. In the years that fol- 
lowed our first arrival at Nowood we built up large herds of good 
Hereford cattle at both Nowood under the Circle Dot brand and 
on Deep Creek where my husband had his own ranch in partner- 
ship with the late William DriscoU. This was known as the Here- 
ford Cattle Co. and branded the Script A bar. It was a source of 


pride to me that after the end of World War I, my son, Bob, was 
wagon boss of the last roundup wagon to' operate around Nowood. 
This was about 1920. 

"We were also there when the terrible Spring Creek raid took 
place in which some sheepmen were killed. We knew many of 
those involved on both sides. It was a tragic affair, and, so far as 
I know, the last bitter fight between the cattle and sheep interests 
in the war for open range. This was about forty miles north of 

"But though we remember now the thrilling stories of early days, 
at the time all this happened we seemed to be a happy hard- 
working set of people. Folks of Wyoming were universally hos- 
pitable. When we moved into our home on the ranch, we did not 
lock the front door. We lost the key and so far as I know that 
house was never locked up in all the years we lived at Nowood. 
If you went visiting, folks were insulted if you didn't stay for at 
least one meal and generally they tried hard to get you to spend 
the night. Our pioneer doctors were Walker at Hyattville and 
Carter at Basin. It was on a call once when my son. Bob, was 
thrown off a horse and we thought his neck was broken that Doc 
Walker came by relay team all the way from Hyattville to Red 
Bank, a distance of around eighty miles or so in rapid fire order. 
He'd drive into a ranch, receive a fresh team, turn his tired horses 
into the barn, then gallop over the next lap. On the return, he'd 
leave the teams where they belonged. Nobody who owned a 
horse expected pay for such service." 

Walker once operated on a fat man for appendicitis at the Helms 
ranch near Red Bank, with the patient laid out on the kitchen 
table, work carried on by light of a kerosene lamp and the anaes- 
thetic administered by a ranch woman. He then went on toward 
Lost Cabin. On his return, he found the patient rapidly re- 

An event that makes the pioneer chuckle was her first exper- 
ience with the "horseless carriage" at the Chicago World's Fair 
in 1893. A party of Wyomingites, visiting the fair, took a ride 
on the ancestor of the present auto. They noted that, as they rode 
along, everybody waved to them so they genially waved back. 
It was not until sometime later that they discovered the coat tails 
of one of the men had caught fire. People were waving to warn 
them rather than to be jolly. 

Jehomh fiteh 

{The Lord Will Provide)* 


Fama Hess Stoddard 

My first remembrance of Jireh is somewhat hazy — due to my 
youth and the fact that I hved in Michigan before coming to Jireh, 
However, when my Uncle, Jasper Hess of Dayton, Ohio, a sponsor 
of Jireh, came to see us about joining the colony and coming to 
Wyoming, I felt httle interest. First, Wyoming was too far away, 
secondly — my sole interest was keeping my record of the fastest 
runner, the highest tree climber, and turning the most somersaults 
of anyone in our neighborhood. 

Imagine my surprise and terror then, when rushing home from 
school, happier than happy — I burst into our living room and there 
sat my Uncle Jasper again, saying, "How glad I am, Henry (my 
father) that you have decided to join the (Jireh) Colony!" 

I remember saying they wouldn't get me away out there — 
away from all my school mates. And this persistence lasted until 
I reached Chicago. I had packed every possession separately, 
hoping my mother would consent to letting me stay and live with 
an aunt in Dayton. 

My father (without the family) had started with the colony, in 
the Spring of 1908. They arrived in Manville, as Jireh was then 
just a huge "no man's land" of prairie. He was in the group to 
choose the townsite, and name the place. The government had 
opened up all the prairie land from Manville to Lost Springs for 
homesteaders. Thus the beautiful idea had been conceived to 
use this wonderfully cheap land for homes, and to start a college. 
This vision was conceived by the good people of the Christian 
Church (now Congregational) and the different heads of the 
Eastern colleges. Merriam, Defiance and Palmer permitted their 
splendid teachers a sort of "leave of absence" to become leaders 
and trainers in this movement. 

As best as I can remember, these professors, ministers and 
highly cultured people were the bulk of the Colony. Our family 
didn't come to Wyoming until the winter (almost Christmas time) 
of 1909, as my father had to have some sort of a place for us to 
live in. 

* This article was written by Mrs. Stoddard in 1936. 


Courtesy Fama Hess Stoddard 
Jireh College. 1910 

Thus the colony was started. A meeting of the sponsors of this 
movement was held, and officers chosen. This group decided to 
locate the new town between Manville and Keeline, then the new 
families could locate their homesteads around this town, and the 
professors could teach while proving up on their government 

These courageous people — men at first — came to Manville, and 
were taken out by locators to file on government homesteads. 
They made quick work of building homes — many shacks covered 
with tar paper — and then sent for the family. The family would 
charter an emigrant car to bring their worldly goods, and one 
member of the family came along with the car (if the husband 
hadn't returned for the family) so he could use that pass. 

I remember my father writing to my mother of the decision, and 
that he bitterly opposed starting a new town. His idea was to 
start the College in some town already established in order to have 
the help and assistance of those already living there. He felt the 
raw newness of the country and its vastness; so he fought to the 
last for starting the New College Colony in either Keeline or 
Manville. He immediately lost prestige, since the land surrounding 
these towns was taken — which made it too far for the professors 
to drive or ride horseback to the prospective college, and the 
college must be the center of the colony life. Since the large 
prairie flat was unoccupied two and one-half miles east of Keeline, 
that became the colony's objective, and this was the New Town. 
A grant of money was given for the College, and the purchase of 
the townsite. This three hundred and twenty acres was bought 
from "Uncle" Billy Sherman in the spring of 1908, and, being 
surrounded almost entirely by government land, was ideal for the 
purpose intended. 

Tent houses sprang up: a store, a small building for school. 
Church services were held immediately. The first service was held 


at the Harry Hass homestead which joined the townsite. This tar 
papered "shack" was not completed, so an old canvas was thrown 
over the rafters for shade, and the religious life of Jireh began. 
This was the most outstanding characteristic of the colony and it 
continued all through its existence. Then the name of Jireh was 
chosen because of its biblical significance, meaning — The Lord will 
provide. Many jibes were cast at the Jirehites because of their 
religious tendencies, which were not understood by some of the 
natives and cowboys. 

As soon as the country schoolhouse was completed it was used 
for church. Many, many good and eloquent services were con- 
ducted by the numerous Doctors of Divinity in Jireh. Rev. Coffin, 
D. D. — Flommer, D.D. — Atkinson, D.D. were important to the 
church; but especially as the founders of Jireh College. 

In October, 1909, Rep. Mondell laid the cornerstone of the 
Jireh College. A most wonderful ceremony crowned this impor- 
tant event, and Jireh became of interest to the State. In the 
archives placed in the cornerstone were the rules and regulations 
of Jireh. No intoxicating liquors, smoking, cards or dancing were 
permitted. Jireh was to be a clean wholesome place where one 
could rear their offspring. Imagine the reception of such ideals 
in a country where all such things abounded and were expected 
of Western people. No wonder Jireh was frowned upon! 

Why we had come from the East to teach these Westerners 
how to live! Hadn't they been doing fairly well the past fifty 
years? At least we had a place to come to, but such ideals were 
senseless, unlivable and unearthly. We were interlopers of goodly 
godliness, and instead of receiving the Western warm hand clasp, 
we were stared and gibbered at. The wealth of culture and learn- 
ing brought by the Christian Denomination was never given a true 
outlet. The founders had come to the West with some visions of 
the highest ideals ever conceived by man. To bring the beauty of 
life, to educate and teach young people how to make the most of 
themselves, to be good citizens; but with all these good intentions 
they lacked the vital factor of adjustment to such an environment 
as existed. 

However, new teachers, new ministers would come to Jireh, 
ever bringing encouragement that the Eastern endowments were 
pouring forth. These Eastern Colonists needed work and liked 
the wholesome Westerners, so finally by intermingling and working 
out among the ranchers a better understanding became apparent. 

So in June, 1910, Jireh had become a good size town, even 
though a boxcar still served as depot. According to records, that 
month shows two hundred persons were getting mail at the Jireh 
post office. The College was nearing completion and the first 
session was soon to open, a Summer Normal Course. The summer 
of 1910 was a most, the most, successful session Jireh ever held. 
Many teachers from all over the state came for their summer 


school work. I was thrilled beyond description at seeing so many 
strangers in Jireh, especially college boys and girls. My sister, 
Lu Emily, went to this first Normal Session, and my other sister. 
May, and I enrolled in the department of music and art, as we 
were just starting High School work. 

Mrs. Dalzell was our instructor. She was a graduate from the 
Conservatory of Music in Boston. Her husband was a minister; 
he held a pastorate at Lusk. Rev. Enders, D. D. was the first 
President of Jireh College and conducted the Summer Normal. 
He is at this time [1936] still at Definace, Professor of Theology 
(he was my inspiration through High School). 

The first session of the Jireh College of Liberal Arts opened on 
October 4, 1910, with four pupils enrolled in the academic depart- 
ment. Professor Enders commuted from his homestead and 
returned to Defiance in September, so Reverend Wm. Flammer 
became the second President. 

The Department of Music and Art had six enrollments, with 
my sister May and me being two of them. Each of us had two 
years' work under Mrs. D. B. Atkinson. She was one of the most 
outstanding women and instructors I have ever known. Her work 
began with Jireh's College opening, and she was still there with her 
good husband. Dr. D. B. Atkinson, at its close in 1920. 

The four academic students were: Lyle Powell, Junior; Vera 
Cook, Sophomore Leslie Cox, and myself, Fama Hess, Freshmen 
and Sophomores. We called ourselves the "Big Four" and Jireh 
became aware of us in many ways. Then followed one of the 
most delightfully instructive years of my life. 

That same fall, the public school (a new two room building, 
since Jireh was growing so fast) had a splendid group of young- 
sters. These were mostly children of the Colonists. Mr. C. W. 
Pfeifer taught the grammar grades, and Miss Lu Emily Hess the 
primary department. The school was very flourishing as a public 

The social life of the community began in earnest in the fall of 
1910. Prior to this time the parties and dinners had been held 
in the schoolhouse and people's homes. The first Thanksgiving 
dinner had been held in 1909 in the little schoolhouse. Now that 
the College was completed it was the center of everything. Never 
will I forget those huge friendly gatherings — basket dinners and 
especially the church services. Every Thanksgiving we had most 
impressive services followed by a basket dinner (these continued 
all during the life of the College). Such functions became widely 
known and aroused keen interest. People from neighboring towns 
became interested, and especially do I remember such citizens as 
Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Spaugh, Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Willson, Mr. and 
Mrs. Charles Sherman, and Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Sherman coming 
to our social affairs and church services. Charles Sherman donated 
his wonderful collection of Western relics and fine books to the 


College for he was a graduate of Amherst, and his heart went out 
to these pioneers. Later I married his nephew, Lee C. Stoddard, 
and the Shermans were among my dearest friends, as well as the 
other famiUes mentioned above. 

In 1911 the State of Wyoming began to contribute to Jireh. An 
Experimental Farm was granted and this was located about a 
quarter of a mile south of Jireh. Our contact with the splendid 
men from the University of Wyoming was of the utmost impor- 
tance. They taught us many valuable lessons — how to conserve 
moisture, and though this virgin land was full of humus, it must 
be plowed deeply and cultivated often to hold every drop of 
moisture. Wyoming was not like our home states of Michigan, 
Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and so forth where an abundance of rain 
fell. Coming from Michigan as I had, the state of trees and water, 
to an arid land where one had to drill two hundred and ninety feet 
to get a well, and the highest plant a sage brush, well, it seemed so 
bleak and barren. Yet Wyoming has given practically every new- 
comer a keen desire to stay. You can bring an Easterner West, 
but how hard to take a Westerner East! 

For several years our Experimental Farm and College flour- 
ished. Children from nearby towns enrolled in the College, and 
dormitories were built. To become educated was the watch word. 
Athletics came to the foreground and thus we contacted outside 
schools. This encouraged parents to support Jireh College, and 
our enrollment reached the high point of sixty-five during Jireh's 
most successful period. The enrollment fee and living expenses 
were most reasonable — too much so. 

The main source of the College income was from endowments. 
Our field workers would travel in the East explaining the cause of 
the College, and thereby getting donations of money or land. In 
the meantime, some of the colleges would send their teachers out 
to us in order to give us the best of instruction, and in turn receive 
a first hand understanding of this movement. Of the wonderful 
staff which developed in Jireh College, Dr. and Mrs. D. B. Atkin- 
son were foremost. He was a field worker. President and instruc- 
tor. She stayed always in the College as an instructor and the 
wonderful cantatas Mrs. Atkinson sponsored for the public should 
be a memorial of her musical career. These two people stayed 
with the College from the beginning to the end. When Jireh 
closed, they returned East to the Mother College. 

It seems to me that Jireh reached its high point from the years of 
1913 to 1918. The town now had a newspaper, lumber yard, 
hardware store, garage, bank, hotels, a post office, stores, tele- 
phone and express offices, and a new depot! We were a busy 
community. The people were dry farming and learning to become 
ranchers on a small scale. A feeling of prosperity and kindliness 
was apparent. Even Nature was kind to us, giving us more 
moisture than ordinarily and no pests. People began to prosper 


and farm more and more. Our State Experimental farm was a 
most encouraging factor to us. 

In 1913 Jireh had its first academic graduation. A whole week 
was devoted to this Commencement, and it was as full of activities 
as any Eastern College: Class Day, Class Plays, College Day, and 
such festivities. College Day we exhibited our art specimens and 
the work of the year. 

People came from miles around on horseback, on lumber 
wagons, and in buggies, to be present at this occasion. (It was 
this way, too, that we attended church twice each Sunday.) 
Notables from over the state were present, and I remember that 
Senator Kendrick and other outstanding people gave talks and 
graduation addresses. 

Two of the first pupils to enroll in Jireh College were to be the 
first graduates — Leslie Cox and myself (Fama Hess Stoddard). 
Mrs. Atkinson presided over a most sumptuous dinner for the 
graduates, classes, faculty and speakers. This College Week was 
to become a custom thereafter for all graduating classes; however, 
those following were not quite so elaborate as the first. Thus the 
colony lived for several years. 

Then came the war. Many of our students left. However, con- 
ditions were still conducive to dry farming and prices were high. 
All during the war, crops were good. Suddenly nature seemed to 
be less kind — droughts appeared and general economic conditions 
were awful. In 1920 the College ceased to exist, the College 
building was torn down and shipped to Laramie, the parsonage 
and dormitories were wrecked and sold or moved away. 

Of course many other factors contributed to the close of Jireh 
College, including the lack of social activities and so little money 
to use for anything except education. The main attractions offered 
to students (outside the school life) were parties (no dancing), 
roller skating and athletics. These did not prove sufficient to 
use up the energy of many of the youngsters. Usually after com- 
pleting the Academic Course or High School, as we consider it 
now, only a few enrolled for College. One or two years of College 
would suffice for those who did enroll, since our College did not 
offer much beyond High School. 

It is most apparent, however, that practically every Jireh College 
pupil made something of himself or finished his course elsewhere. 
My brother, W. L. Hess, finished at Laramie and taught Agricul- 
ture, due to the interest aroused by the State Experimental Farm. 
My other brother finished at Boulder and my sister at Berkeley. 
This was true of so many of the students — the little seed of learning 
planted in Jireh College germinated into College Professors, Doc- 
tors, Law Students, Ministers, and every profession. Thus Jireh 
does live on! 

Literally, Jireh is a ghost town. Nothing remains now in the 
fields where it once stood. The vicissitudes of life are incompar- 


able, yet, one must always have his dreams. People come and 
go, still the constant thing in us all is — Hope. This was Jireh. 
Valiantly we tried to bring the theoretical into the practical. We 
met the problems of homesteading, resurveys, county divisions, 
prohibition, marriages, deaths, the great war, all just as ordinary 
people. We loved, lived and died. The cemetery of Jireh is today 
a living memorial to the town of Jireh. We still meet there in the 
solemn ties of death to bury our dead. Many of us are bound to 
Jireh by the dear ones buried there, yet, though the living are 
scattered the world over, there is the Jireh spirit that will always 
live — service to mankind! 

Cife and Satly Mistory 
ofphn "Posey"KyaH ' 

(Interesting Bits of History in the Career of Old Western 

T. James Gatchell 

The death of John Ryan, which occurred at Buffalo, Wyoming, 
March 2, 1929, marks the passing of the last resident of this state 
who was with the famous Carrington Expedition in 1866, and 
once again has "taps" been sounded over the grave of a comrade 
of the nearly depleted ranks of that once great army which served 
their country with such loyal devotion during the dark and trying 
days of the Civil War. 

Mr. Ryan had been a resident of Wyoming for nearly sixty-three 
years, and was an outstanding figure in our state's history. 

John, or as he was better known, "Posey" Ryan was born in 
Ireland, February 25, 1848, but when yet a small boy came with 
his people to America, the family settling in Missouri. On March 
1, 1865, when but seventeen years of age, he demonstrated his 
patriotism and love for his adopted country, by enlisting in Com- 
pany A, Fifty-first Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and served with 
the organization until it was mustered out of the service August 3 1 , 
of that year. 

Being still imbued with the spirit of adventure, after leaving the 
army young Ryan drifted west to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where 
the Eighteenth U. S. Infantry was outfitting for service in the 
Indian country, and hired out as a teamster in the quartermaster 
department of that regiment. Captain Frederick R. Brown, one 
of those who fell in the Fetterman disaster, was quartermaster, and 
Mr. Ryan was always warm in his praises of the Captain both as 
a soldier and a man, and much deplored his untimely death. 

From Fort Leavenworth the command marched to Fort Kear- 
ney, Nebraska Territory, arriving there on Christmas day, 1865, 
and in May, 1866, started upon the long weary march into the 
Powder River county where they were to establish a chain of forts 
along the Bozeman trail, in then Dakota Territory, for the pro- 
tection of travelers, and to reclaim this vast territory for settlement. 

This article was written by Mr. Gatchell March 21, 1929. 


It was a difficult and hazardous undertaking, and the many 
obstacles encountered and the suffering and hardships endured by 
that little army is hard to realize in this age of rapid transportation 
and efficient equipment. The expedition arrived at historic Fort 
Laramie in the early part of June, where some days were com- 
sumed in making repairs to transportation and procuring supplies 
for the forts to be established, and the command then marched to 
Fort Connor on Powder River, a cantonment established in 1865 
by General Connor, arriving there on the 28th of June. 

According to Mr. Ryan, Fort Connor resembled anything but a 
military stronghold, being rudely constructed of cottonwood-logs, 
dirt roofs, and only the supply buildings being stockaded. It was 
garrisoned by Companies C and D of the Fifth U. S. Volunteer 
Infantry, commanded by Captain George W. Williford. These 
troops had been there since August, 1865, and were certainly glad 
to be relieved. They had had no trouble with the Indians, but had 
found the place far from being desirable as a permanent place of 

The expedition went on north and on July 15, 1866, Fort Phil 
Kearny was established. Later troops were sent still farther north 
and Fort C. F. Smith on the Big Horn River in Montana was 

Trouble with the Indians began almost as soon as work was 
started on building the fort, as on July 17 the stock belonging to 
Major Raymond's battalion was stampeded by the hostiles, and 
though troops were hurriedly sent in pursuit, the horses were not 
recovered, while the pursuing party suffered the loss of two men 
killed and three wounded. Ryan was with this contingent, and had 
his first experience in Indian warfare. While returning from this 
pursuit they found that the trading post of Louis Gazzous had been 
destroyed and Gazzous and the five men in his employ had been 
killed by the hostiles. Gazzous, a squaw man, known as "French 
Pete," had estabUshed his trading post on Peno (Prairie Dog) 
creek, a little above where the Bozeman trail crossed the stream, 
on land that is now part of what is known as the Jim Kirkpatrick 
ranch in Sheridan county. Gazzous had been advised of the 
danger of locating in this isolated place, but having every confi- 
dence that his Sioux wife would be his surety against molestation 
by the Indians had not heeded the warning. Two of Gazzous 
men had been with .the Carrington Expedition from the time it left 
Fort Leavenworth until their arrival at the forks of the two Piney 
Creeks, and had left the employ of the Government but a few days 
before. "It was a terrible sight," said Mr. Ryan, "the poor victims 
had been mutilated in the most horrible manner, and it gave us all 
a most convincing lesson on what our fate would be should we 
fall into the hands of the Indians." The soldiers found the wife 
and two daughters of Gazzous, who had been able to escape the 
massacre by hiding in the brush along the creek, and they, as well 


as what merchandise had been left by the raiders, were taken back 
to the fort. 

Ryan was also with the detail which found the scalped and 
mutilated body of Grover, the artist correspondent of Frank Les- 
lie's Magazine, who had been killed by the Indians on the ridge 
about a mile west of the fort. Ryan knew Grover well and always 
referred to him as the "long haired artist." But a few days 
previous Ryan had told him that the Indians would get him if he 
did not quit running around the country alone, but he had taken 
the warning lightly, and as a consequence lost his life. In telling 
of this incident Mr. Ryan gave vent to the dry humor which was 
a strong characteristic with him, and which was generally directed 
against himself. He was driving the ambulance and the officer in 
charge of the detail ordered him to take the body back to the fort. 
Mr. Ryan said, "We were something over a mile from the fort, 
and I could look across the Big Piney to the north, and the Little 
Piney on the south and see Indians who were watching our every 
movement, and I did not relish the idea of going back unsupported 
by the soldiers, and I asked the officer if he did not think the body 
would be all right where it was for awhile, and we could get it on 
our return. He was obdurate, however, and said, 'Young man, if 
you don't obey my orders it will go hard with you.' I told him that 
it would go hard with me also if the Indians caught me, but I had 
to go back just the same." 

On the 10th of September Mr. Ryan had another experience 
which illustrates the desperate situation of the garrison at Fort 
Phil Kearny. He was with a detail hauling hay to the post from 
the flat north of Lake DeSmet. There were about twelve teams in 
the detail and each team had a soldier as a guard, and about six 
more mounted guards accompanied the outfit. For some unknown 
reason Private Peter Johnson, one of the mounted guards, got quite 
a distance ahead of them and an Indian attempted to cut him off. 
He would have been all right had he returned to the hay detail, 
but must have become confused, as he started toward the fort with 
the evident intention of trying to out-ride the Indian. The savage, 
however, mounted on a fast pony, rapidly gained on him, when 
Johnson apparently lost his head completely, jumped off his horse, 
threw his gun away, and made for a washout east of the road. 
Being still armed with a six-shooter, he could have defended him- 
self, but he did not and the Indian had no trouble capturing him. 

They could do nothing to help him. The guards had but three 
rounds of ammunition to the man, and the teamsters were practi- 
cally unarmed. The hills surrounding them were alive with In- 
dians and any attempt to leave the protection of the shelter of the 
wagons afforded them would have resulted in the sacrifice of the 
entire detail. 

Such was the condition of affairs at Fort Phil Kearny in 1866. 
Over seventy civilians could not be armed. Requisitions were 


entirely ignored by those higher up. Reinforcement for the meager 
garrison was denied, and yet General Carrington has been bitterly 
criticised because of such occurences which could have been easily 
avoided had sufficient men and adequate equipment been fur- 

As it was, however, it took a Fetterman Massacre to awaken the 
War Department to the fact that there were plenty of hostile 
Indians in Absaraka. 

Ryan had many exciting experiences while at Fort Phil Kearny. 
He knew personally nearly all the prominent characters of those 
frontier times. He was a warm friend of the noted Jim Bridger, 
and much resented the moving picture of a few years ago where 
Bridger was represented as a drunken "squaw man." "Bridger 
was a real man," Mr. Ryan said, "and the pioneers of the west 
owed him an everlasting debt of gratitude." 

It was Jim Bridger who gave Mr. Ryan the nickname "Posey". 
A number of scouts and teamsters were sitting around the stove in 
the sutler's store at Fort Phil Kearny one evening, when the jolly 
French scout, Antoine Ladeau, asked Ryan where he came from, 
and promptly received the answer — from Posey county, Ireland. 
Jim Bridger in his quiet, easy-going manner said, "Well, I guess 
we'll have to call you Posey from now on." And Posey it was, 
and so remained for nearly sixty-two years. 

Several articles written since Mr. Ryan's death make the state- 
ment that he was at Fort Phil Kearny at the time of the Fetterman 
Massacre. This is not true. He quit the service of the Govern- 
ment on the 21st of November, just a month before that disaster. 
He left at that time with the freight outfit of Hugh Kuykendall, 
and worked for him for several months after they arrived at Fort 
Laramie. He freighted to Fort Casper, Fort Bridger, and other 
points for several months, the next year, 1867, freighted along the 
Bozeman trail, going north as far as Fort C. F. Smith on several 

He was at Fort Phil Kearny at the time of its abandonment in 
1868, and helped freight the supplies from there to Forts Casper 
and Fetterman. 

Mr. Ryan worked around Fort Laramie for a number of years 
and later took up a ranch on the Laramie river, not far above the 
fort and for nearly forty years engaged in the ranching and live 
stock business at that location. 

Mr. Ryan came to the Soldiers' Home at Buffalo, Wyoming, in 
1919, and during the ten years he has resided among us he has 
enshrined himself in the hearts of our people. He had been blessed 
with good health, and up to the very minute of his death had been 
active in both mind and body. 

"Posey" Ryan was a man with a personality; he was a good 
soldier, an upright citizen, and an unswerving friend. He had 


been softened in the hard school of experience, and in his inter- 
course with his fellow man was a true Christian. 

The citizens of Buffalo will long remember the kindly old gentle- 
man who met all with a kindly smile and a pleasant word 
of greeting. 

Zhe Jiole-iH-the- Wall 


Thelma Gatchell Condit 

Bill Speck 

There were many men connected with the Hole-in-the-Wall gang 
who played minor roles in this rough, wild lawlessness, but they 
were none the less colorful because of that and should by no 
means be overlooked. The fact that they remained more or less 
inconspicuous and safely uninvolved did not necessarily mean that 
they were less brave or daring (perhaps just less ambitious and 
less restless than the others ) . It did not mean that their part was 
unimportant, for the work they did laid the strong foundation for 
this outlaw chain, consisting of maintenance and supplies without 
which Cassidy could not have operated so successfully. 

Of these lesser characters Bill Speck was undoubtedly one of 
the most interesting. For looks he was a natural. If a panoramic 
view of all western men of that period could be shown, Bill would 
immediately be picked as the most villainous of the lot. Everyone 
would agree that here was the real outlaw type, a genuine "Alkali 
Ike"^ Bill cashed in on his looks many a time hiring out to 
"put the fear of the Lord" into certain people, sometimes in dead 
earnest and sometmies just in fun. 

Bill was a rather tall, homely, ungainly fellow. He carried his 
shoulders and upper arms stiffly, so that his forearms seemed 
somewhat loose and limp, as did also his hips and lower legs. 
His movements were slow and deliberate and he gave the crazy 
impression that he could crouch and spring on a minute's notice. 
His eyes were mere wrinkled-in-slits under long, bushy, straight 
brows, sort of squinted-up eyes, like those of many outdoor men 
used to looking upon sun-glary objects in the big, open spaces. 
Because of this he seemed to wear a perpetual scowl. The part 
of the eyes coming out of the glower were sharp, black and un- 
friendly. His nose was a work of art, as noses go, being very 
narrow at the bridge and flaring out decidedly at the lower end. 
The nostrils were huge. From the front it looked as if someone 

L There were 2 comic magazines published in the late '90's, "Buck" and 
"Life". "Buck" ran a western serial with a villain named "Alkali Ike", who 
supposedly was the true version of a western bad man. 

Courtesy Thelma G. Condit 
Early day Kaycee about 1900, looking north. 

Courtesy Thelma G. Condit 

Bill Speck and Hugh Riley, early 1900's. Taken on south side of Middle 
Fork of Powder River just above present bridge at Kaycee. 


had taken a thumb and gently pressed a straight Hne from bridge 
to tip, going a httle too far down and leaving the end longer than 
it should rightfully have been. The nostril fiesh on each side was 
very pronounced, receding just enough to leave the end of the nose 
all alone. Thi slanting lines from nostril to upper jaw were 
deeply marked, thus accentuating the bold, square jaw line. His 
black handlebar moustache hid most of his large mouth. How- 
ever, it in no way made indefinite the lower part of his face as 
moustaches did to so many men. Rather it seemed to have been 
pasted on as an afterthought to enhance the bad man effect. His 
hands were big and long fingered, dangling from shirt sleeves too 
short for his arms. 

One time when Tom Horn was up in the Hole-in-the-Wall look- 
ing for likely rustlers to kill, he met Bill up on Murphy Creek and 
told him "That there was considerable suspicion in that neck of 
the woods about a homely, ungainly, lantern-jawed, long-nosed 
cuss named Bill Speck, who was always hanging around the out- 
laws and knew more'n he wanted to tell, and that he ought to 
take him in to Cheyenne and make him do some talkin'." Com- 
pletely undaunted Bill replied, "Well, I never heard before that a 
feller could be hung on his looks, but if that's the law, I guess 
I'll get the limit, cause I can't transmogrify my looks".- 

Bill wasn't a fancy dresser. He wore the plainest of clothes; the 
same held true in regard to horse-gear and guns. His six-shooter 
had a black handle with a silver eagle decoration on it. Mostly 
he didn't even wear a holster, just stuck his gun in the front of his 
pants, which he held up with a rawhide strap with a hole in one 
end. He'd wind what was left at the end around the other strap, 
or stick it down in his pants. 

But Bill never was casual about the care of his gun. He'd go 
over it carefully each night, oiling and cleaning it, and inspecting 
each cartridge separately to detect possible flaws. He always 
put his six-shooter down in bed by his right side at night. This 
was habitual and was as routine as sleeping and eating. 

Even though Bill was associated with the Hole-in-the-Wall 
gang and looked like a true desperado, he, in reality, was a most 
kind hearted fellow, a "soft touch for the ladies on the row" and 
fair game for every swindler who came his way. Also he was 
downright lazy, if the truth were known. He had none of that 
gnawing energy and nervous restlessness requiring an action outlet 
(like Cassidy and the others had). His very lack of it made 
sheriffs and law enforcers hesitate about connecting him with the 
Wild Bunch. Also he stayed in one place too long and never 
seemed to be doing anything of a suspicious nature, never seemed 

2. From Midwest Review, June, 1925. 


to be going anyplace in particular. Besides, he looked so doggone 
ornery strangers just let him along. 

An old-timer who knew Bill thus described him, "Old Bill 
Speck was nothin' but a parasite livin' off the country and every- 
body he found willin'. Just a perfect "Alkali Ike", just a 'good- 
for-nothin'. Only one good thing about Bill. He was the best 
sourdough biscuit maker on Powder River. Made 'em in a dutch 
oven and you didn't need butter or sweetenin' on 'em either, they 
were that tasty." 

According to the Midwest Review of September, 1925, in an 
article entitled "Recollections of a Pioneer" we learn that Bill's 
family came to Kansas in 1855 (from Texas) and took up pre- 
emption rights on a piece of land 20 miles from Fort Leavenworth. 
The elder Speck being an abolitionist immediately found himself 
in hot water trying to neighbor with proslavers who were migrating 
in hordes from Missouri. "Whatever nerve young Bill may have 
he inherits from his mother, one of those self-reliant women who 
composed the very best of our western pioneers, and he can 
distinctly remember several times when she held the border ruf- 
fians at bay." 

One incident recounted tells of whiskey fortified proslavers try- 
ing to run the Speck family off their land. They arrived at a time 
when Bill and his mother were home alone. She refused them 
admittance to the house, standing them off with an axe. 

Another time a stranger with evil intent rode up while Bill and 
his mother were in the garden. While he was dismounting, Mrs. 
Speck ran into the cabin and, arming herself with an old Yager 
rifle, drove the marauder away. (Young Bill meanwhile had 
hidden himself under the bed). 

Bill's father was acquainted with and had many business dealings 
with the father of Buffalo Bill Cody, who ran a road-ranch five 
miles from Leavenworth in what was called Salt Creek Valley. 
In those days (1857 and '58) buffalo was plentiful and the ranch- 
ers organized many a hunt to obtain their winter's meat. Bill 
recalls his father cutting the bottomland sloughgrass for hay and 
hauling it to Fort Leavenworth where he received $20 in gold 
per ton for it. 

Another interesting fact was that Red Angus, Sheriff of Johnson 
County during the Invasion, was in Bill's father's regiment during 
the Civil War (as nearly as I can ascertain Mr. Speck was a 
Captain in the Union Army operations in the western border states 
of Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas). Red served as drummer 
boy, his mother having taken him down to enlist, lying about his 
age since he was so determined to serve in the Union cause. So 
Bill found mutual connections when he came to live in Johnson 
County, and it is quite evident that the doings of the Hole-in-the- 
Wall gang seemed plenty tame in comparison with the stirring, 
violent scenes Bill had witnessed firsthand as a child in Kansas 


in those years preceding the Civil War. It's no wonder he took 
the outlaw life as a matter of fact and didn't get very excited 
about it. 

The next we hear of Bill after the Kansas days he had a small 
place on Brush Creek, 20 miles east of Vernal, Utah, and 75 miles 
south of Brown's Hole, (which was close to the border line 
between Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. ) Brown's Hole was some 
100 miles south of old South Pass City and was named for an 
old trapper who lived there one winter. At an early date there 
had been an Indian Trading Post in the Hole and many trappers 
wintered there when beaver was plentiful. It was another Hole- 
in-the-Wall and used much by Cassidy and his bunch in the late 
'80's. Like the Wyoming red wall country it was surrounded by 
little valleys and safe hiding places. 

About 15 miles from Bill Speck's place was a little ranch on 
the Green River called Island Park. It was situated in a big cove, 
or mountain surrounded valley, hence the name. This place was 
leased by J. L. Wight's father^ in the late '80's. He ran a httle 
bunch of cattle there. Both this place and Bill's were much 
isolated with not even a semblance of a road going in or out. The 
outlaws coming down out of the mountains often stayed two or 
three days resting up at the Wight's, and then they'd go on to 
Speck's place. 

Out in the yard was a monstrous cottonwood tree, at least 12 
feet in circumference. The lower limbs had been removed and 
heavy iron spikes driven into its sides in a staggered arrangement 
on which the outlaws hung their saddles and other horse gear. 
Bill never did have a barn there. It was indeed quite a sight seeing 
the elegant, silver-studded saddles hanging on the spike-pegs. (It 
was called the Outlaw Tree). The heavy thick branches above 
suppUed ample shelter in case of a rain or storm. 

Bill ran a few head of cattle and kept quite a sizeable string 
of saddle horses. Not given much to conversation, he visited little 
with his few neighbors or with strangers. All he said about the 
outlaws hanging out there was, "By God, I trade horses with 'em 
all the time." 

"Kinky" Wight remembers very distinctly some of the Wild 
Bunch who hung around Bill's. For the most part they were a 
likeable, friendly sort (all except Isom Dart, the negro) and 
pleasing and exciting to be around, especially Elza Lay, also 
known as Bill McGinnis. Elza was a tall, slim, and decidedly 
handsome Texan with light brown hair and big, very round hazel 
eyes. In a way he was the "glassy-eyed" type — shifty-eyed, too, 
for he never cared to look you straight in the eye. However, this 
last characteristic gave the impression of shyness rather than dis- 

3. J. L. ("Kinky") Wight, an old man now living in Buffalo. 


honesty. Cassidy often remarked that Elza was the only educated 
member of the Bunch. The tickUsh train and bank holdups where 
final success hung by a thread were planned by Elza. He indeed 
had a sharp, pinpoint mind which was sadly wasted on such an 
utterly useless career. Besides this, he was unusually good-natured 
and had charming, half-bashful manners, and, like Cassidy, was a 
master in the handling of horses. He did a lot of the breaking and 
training of the outlaw hot-bloods. 

Elza unquestionably was a favorite with the girls, for shy, 
mannerly men always seem to possess a fatal attraction for women 
the world over. When 24 years of age Elza fell in love with and 
secretly married a certain gay, blue eyed, brown haired Maude 
Davis. She was a sweet girl, very slender, very pretty and very 
good. She loved to dance and so did he, and it was only natural 
that they fell recklessly in love. It was after marrying Maude that 
Elza holed-up more at Bill Speck's for he wanted to be near 
Vernal where she was; and this thing was not good for either of 

The law cornered Elza and Butch one night in a saloon in 
Vernal, or figured they had. The outlaws uncannily escaped as 
was their custom and took off afoot to the hills. Later that night 
Maude took their horses seven miles out of town and hid them 
in some shrub cedars and walked back into town in order to 
escape detection. That night the posse spotted two men asleep 
in a bedroll several miles out and slipped up and shot them both 
outright, thinking sure it was Elza and Cassidy. Maude was called 
upon to identify the bodies, but remaining staunchly loyal said 
she didn't know whether it was them or not. Later it was dis- 
covered that the victims were prospectors with no tie whatever 
with the Bunch. The sheriff, if he'd been on the ball at all, would 
have known that outlaws on the run never sleep two in a bed or 
even unroll their tarps close together. Such was not their custom- 
ary way of sleeping. It was too dangerous — senselessly dangerous, 
to be exact. 

After several years of "close-shaves" Elza decided to give 
Maude up. He told her he was ruining her life, which he was 
(and small consolation for a broken heart that was), making her 
wait around for him, meeting him secretly, and for long spells 
not knowing where he was or what he was doing. He asked her 
to get the divorce, for he said, "It would be a little unhandy 
for me to get it." It is doubtful if it ever occurred to him to give 
up outlawing and settle down and make her a self-respecting 
husband. He had plenty of ability and could have fitted in most 
anyplace. But the wild life held a deadly fascmation apparently, 
and the man just couldn't permit himself to feel tied and directly 
responsible for long. 

Bub Meeks, a 20 year old cowboy drifted into Vernal about 
this time and began going to Bill Specks. He was a dark com- 


plexioned, well-built, smooth-faced, good-looking young fellow, 
who after due consideration decided he'd like to join the Wild 
Bunch. Butch said if he could hold up the bank, single-handed, 
at Montpelier, Idaho, and make a clean getaway he would be 
accepted as one of them. Bub was really a good boy, not the 
least bit evil at heart, just crazy about excitement, and this proposi- 
tion sounded quite thrilling to say the least. 

Bub had a fine looking white and sorrel pinto horse weighing 
around 900 pounds, which he thought a lot of. He was a smart 
animal, too, despite the prevalent belief among Western cowboys 
that any kind of a pinto horse never amounted to much. Bub 
spent many patient hours training the pinto for the bank robbery 
job. He was a top cowhand and loved working with horses. He 
taught this mount to lie down in a gully or depression, flat on his 
side and stay there until he whistled, which was the signal to get 
up and come to him on the run. When everything seemed right 
with the horse, Bub rode into Montpelier and in due time laid his 
other plans. The night of the holdup Cassidy and Lay waited 
several miles out to take the loot. In a little gully back of town 
Bub left the pinto flat on his side, and afoot and alone he entered 
the bank and made away with $30,000; on schedule all right, but 
as he mounted on the run and galloped out of town someone saw 
him and pursuit ensued. Upon reaching the outlaws. Bub, as 
promised, handed over the money and each man took off swiftly 
in different directions. Pursuit was hottest for Bub. probably 
because he was the newest and greenest. In attempting to outrun 
a train through a tunnel he was recognized by a section hand, for 
everyone knew that pinto horse. So, soon Bub was caught and 
subsequently given a stretch in the pen, even though none of the 
money was found in his possession. This one wild escapade was 
the beginning as well as the end of his association with Cassidy's 
Bunch. What dearly bought glory for one ill-fated night of 

Cassidy and Lay were also trailed. When about 20 miles south- 
east of Montpelier, Cassidy decided to get rid of 500 silver dollars 
he was carrying in a sack. Just then they topped a rise and spied 
an old man lumbering along in an ancient wagon behind a pokey 
old team. Cassidy asked the whiskered gendeman if he wanted 
some money as he tossed the bagful of silver dollars in at the old 
man's feet. He didn't stop long enough to find out whether the 
old fellow wanted the money or not, for it really didn't matter in 
the least and had been a very silly question in the first place. 

They continued as swiftly as possible toward the east side of 
the Teton Mountains. Finally, after many hard-going miles when 
they seemed to be losing ground due to the deep snow and steep- 
ness of the climb and the exhausted condition of their horses, 
Cassidy decided they'd have to dispose of the rest of the money, 
since it was getting too risky to take a further chance of being 


caught red-handed. On a little strip of benchland on the side of 
the mountain was a big old pitch stump whose top had long since 
been struck by lightning and rotted off. It stood as high as a 
man's head and surely should be enough of a landmark for future 
reference. Dismounting, Butch stepped off 100 yards to the east 
of the stump and, using the butt of his revolver, quickly made a 
deep hollow place in the sand below the overhanging cliff and 
buried the money in the hole. He then smoothed it over with the 
dugout sand and covering the place with hastily gathered loose 
rocks. In the meantime Elza had stood guard on foot at the top 
of the rise to give his poor jaded horse a bit of rest. The money 
had been buried none too soon, either, for the law was close upon 
them. Turning abruptly back to the West, the outlaws took off 
down a steep canyon, zigzagging sideways, trying to avoid the 
deepest snow banks and find the least easily seen route. And 
once again Cassidy escaped — the deep snow and rugged terrain 
all at once making pursuit seem not only impossible but fruitless 
as well. 

Many times in the next four years, whenever an opportunity 
presented itself, Butch and Lay, together and separately, returned 
for the money, but try as they might neither of them could ever 
again locate that pitch "landmark" stump. Whether a forest fire 
had destroyed the stump or someone had pulled it down for wood 
will never be known, nor will anyone know what became of the 
$30,000 in greenbacks. So it would seem the whole escapade 
benefited no one — no one at all unless it was the old man in the 
rickety wagon (and very likely the things he wanted money 
couldn't buy). 

Isom Dart, the hot-headed Negro member of the Hole-in-the- 
Wall gang also was seen often at Bill Speck's. He was born a 
slave down in the Ozark Mountains and when a young fellow ran 
away and joined the Confederate Army in the West. Not caring 
for army life he deserted and went down Mexico way where he 
got mixed up with some tough horse thieves. Later he joined 
Black Jack Ketchum's gang and so on to the Hole-in-the-Wall 
Bunch. He was a huge, husky, curley-headed six-footer. He 
could ride "anything with four feet," and was an excellent cowboy 
and stock hand which seems odd for a Negro. At first this ability 
was an asset in the rustling and horse stealing game, as Isom had 
an uncanny, easy way of handling animals. He'd played a pretty 
rough game down south and now he felt was getting to be a 
"big potato" in the outlaw business. In fact, he got to thinking 
he was mighty clever and started pulling off little deals on his own, 
often involving the Wild Bunch without authority to do so. This 
egotism along with his physical hugeness and brazen unscrupulous- 
ness made him a dangerous man. Besides, he was disgustingly 
overbearing and thickheaded about most things. Seemingly he 
feared neither God nor man, a genuine renegade at heart. He'd 


act on the impulse of the moment as the notion hit him and got to 
killing unnecessarily and cruelly. So Cassidy finally decided to get 
rid of him. His crazy hotheadedness was becoming a threat to 
them all. As Elza Lay said, "We just had to dry-gulch him 
because he was causing us too much trouble, stupid trouble." It is 
believed that Harve Logan did the shooting of Isom for Cassidy. 
Dart's fierceness and wantom killing just for its own sake was not 
in Butch's book of rules. 

Old Jesse Ewing often showed up at Bill's with a pack string and 
stayed awhile. While he actually, as far as is known, had no part 
whatever in the Bunch's operations, he is worthy of a few words 
in his own right, being undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary 
characters to ever go in and out of Brown's Hole. He was thought 
to be the first mountainman to prospect in the Wasatch Mountains 
between Wyoming and Utah. (He used to be around Green River 
a lot in the 1870's). At any rate he was an old renegade outlaw 
trapper who'd had a most exciting life. Would that all of it were 
known! The natural ugliness of his face was accentuated by deep 
bear claw marks, whose healing had left a terrific disfigurement. 
His whole appearance was fearful, more like beast than man. His 
only weapon was a big knife, and he was wildly expert in the use 
of it. It was far more deadly than any gun. When around the 
Wild Bunch, Jesse maintained a completely detached demeanor, 
although it was plainly obvious that outlaw conversation interested 
him mightily. Very rarely, and then only when made loquacious 
by the contents of his jug, did he converse at all. His crude 
manner of speaking plus his unbelievable ugliness made the stories 
of his past experiences in the earlier days seem doubly gruesome 
and horrible. 

When things began to get too hot in Brown's Hole and the law 
got to coming in too often, the Bunch started using the Hole-in-the- 
Wall more often. This was along about the time when surveys 
were being made to establish state lines between Utah, Idaho and 
Wyoming (preparatory to Wyoming's becoming a state). One 
day an old "grubline" rider stopped in at Bill's and said, "Well, 
'pears like this here country's getting too all-tired civilized fer a 
selfrespectin' horse thief. Take fer instance, that there Russell up 
the line — a plum good example 'o what civilizin' 'a doin'. Tain't 
none 'o us common fellers can be so danged high-flyin' as him 
and his'n. Them blamed survey lines got his shack so divided his 
family does their sleepin' in Wyoming, their cookin' in Idaho and 
their eatin' in Utah. Now if that there don't beat the Dutch, I'll 
eat my hat. He'll drive hisself loco tryin' to figure out where he 
oughter pay his taxes." 

Bill Speck was prepared to move on. He'd kept on hand a spe- 
cial horse, old "Sop and Taters," to get him safely out of the 
country when the need arose. Bill never let anyone ride this 
horse. It was his own private property, a fine big 1400 pound bay 


with a white stripe on his forehead and white hind feet. Old "Sop 
and Taters" was a "fast-mover," a cross between a pacer and a 
single-footer, the type that could "go slow fast"; in other words, 
hit a steady gait and keep it up day after day, mile after mile, 
uphill and down hill. He was also a good "all around" cowhorse 
— he'd stand wherever Bill left him as long as he was saddled. 

As a spare he had a big buckskin. When Bill first got him a 
fellow once asked, "Why don'cha make a buckin' horse outta that 
buckskin. Bill?", for when you sparked him he'd really fire. 
"Can't do it, man, can't do it, 'cause that critter's got too much 
horse sense and too much cow sense," Bill replied. 

For a pack animal. Bill had a white mule which carried his 
worldly possessions, consisting of a bedroll, a few clothes and 
cooking utensils and a skimpy grubstake. 

Upon arriving in Johnson County Bill made his headquarters 
in a dugout on the head of Murphy Creek (see map) a short 
distance below the spot where the Hole-in-the-Wall trail came out 
over the red wall. It was the usual type of living quarters much 
used at the time by bachelors too indolent to haul posts for a cabin 
(or perhaps they felt no need for anything better). It extended 
into the bank and was rocked up in front, having a door of sorts 
covering the entry way. In addition to a fireplace (which Bill sel- 
dom used) it had a small cookstove, a crude table and boxes for 
sitting purposes and a slightly elevated bunk for a bedroll. 

Nearby was a sizeable spring of clear cold water, which was a 
godsend to tired horses and men coming and going over the trail. 
Then, too, there was a horse shed close to the dugout, roofed over 
with willow hmbs and dirt. Close by was a substantial corral, big 
enough for working hvestock. Upon the top of the wall on the 
small bench where the trail came over was a natural horse pasture 
which was much used by the outlaws. Here, too, was another 
dugout in which four horses could be hidden if necessary, or put 
in out of a storm perhaps; or maybe food cached to be kept dry. 

For many years Bill kept an ample supply of food staples, as 
well as quite a string of saddle horses around, which he apparently 
did not own. He had again taken up quarters located conven- 
iently to assist the Wild Bunch with the three things they most 
needed: food, mounts and a hide-out. Often he would be seen 
moseying along with his old mule loaded down and several saddle 
horses roped alongside, seemingly going no place in particular. 
When he returned, the mule was unloaded and the horses gone. 
If encountered by the same party each time Bill would casually 
remark, "Danged if them outlaws didn't hold me up agin and plum 
clean me out. Sure been outta luck if they'd taken my mule. 
Guess I'm lucky at that," and he'd ride off. 

One time years later two of Lou Webb's cowpunchers, Horace 
Snider and Harry Bretz, were riding the range south of the Middle 
Fork of Powder River checking on the cattle. They'd made quite 


a big circle and, coming back across the Murphy Creek flats, saw 
some critters in the distance. They were too far away to be 
distinguishable as to cows or horses, so the cowboys thought they'd 
better ride over and check. As they finally approached the bunch, 
they spooked and took off at a high gallop. As they disappeared 
over the hill the fellows spied something white trailing along 
behind. Shielding his eyes with his hand in order to see more 
clearly, Horace said "Looks like the Spectacle horse bunch, but 
I'll bet you a case of beer that that white thing ain't either a horse 
or a cow".^ Spurring their horses, they began gaining on the 
bunch. Soon Harry said, "Well, I see that white critter don't travel 
like no cow, so by God, it's gotta be a horse. I'll just call your 
bet." The horses were wild and hard to get close to but the 
cowboys, at last heading into a draw, saw an old white mule (Bill 
Speck's) belly-hung on the steep rim of the opposite bank, front 
knees buckled under as he repeatedly sought solid footing in the 
crumbling, sliding lower ledge. After much lurching and pushing 
of hind feet he found firmer footing and with a mighty forward 
lunge landed safely on top, where, after thoroughly shaking himself 
and blowing loudly through his nose, he began leisurely to crop 
the sparse grass, apparently having come to the conclusion that 
it was a little ridiculous, at the moment at any rate, to try to keep 
up with a bunch of rollicky horses. So Horace got his beer. 
Often in years to come he'd say, "Harry, do you remember that 
old mule of Bill Speck's?" a remark always good for many a 
reminiscent laugh. 

The old mule was quite a character. Bill said he could always 
tell when it was going to storm for "when the old fellow'd carry a 
stick or twig around in his mouth it was a sure sign the weather 
was changin' ".•'' 

Bill spent considerable time in Kaycee, which was then little 
more than a stopping place in the road. He hung out a lot at the 
Dixon's, who ran one of the first hotels and eating houses there. 
(Their place was just south of the old stone garage which is now 
torn down or about due west of present-day Red Horse Station). 
Joe Dixon also owned a big corral and shed of sorts across the 
road to the west for the accommodation of his guests' horses. Hay 
and grain could be purchased and the animals fed over there. 

Aunt Mary Dixon was of Hungarian birth, big, rawboned, and 
rather uncouth, mannish and rough-spoken. If good-looking once 
(which was doubtful) she was surely weatherbeaten when living 
in Kaycee (see picture). She was an enthusiastic fisherman. She 

4. Cowboy fashion, creating their own fun and having a good time out 
of nothing. 

5. Horses and pigs have been known to do this, too. Carrying a stick 
in their mouth was an old Western weather forecasing sign. 



loved nothing more than going someplace to catch the big ones. 
An old-timer said, "It's too bad you can't see Sister Dixon's eyes 
and hear her voice when you look at her picture." She had a 
harsh, loud, resonant voice. She'd yell at Joe to get him up in the 
morning to build the fires. "Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe," louder and 
louder and then begin to bang on the pans in the kitchen. Mr. 
Dixon, who was a smallish, apathetic sort of fellow, putting it 
mildly, occupied a decidedly subordinate position in the household 
and went around with his tail between his legs, so to speak 

Aunt Mary hired a young 
girl, a certain Cecil Ritter, to 
work for her.*^ Cecil came 
from up Mayoworth way. As 
she said, "I'd quarreled with 
Mama. I had two horses of 
my own in the corral so, putting 
my clothes in a flour sack, I 
saddled up one of my horses 
and went to Kaycee and got a 
job with Mrs. Dixon. She was 
awful good to me. Mama was 
awful hateful and slapped me 
so I didn't want to stay home 
any more. Mrs. Dixon let me 
make pies and light bread and 
cook (and make beds and wash 
dishes and wait table). I did 
everything I wanted to. Ma- 
ma'd never trust us girls with 
stuff like that, afraid we'd waste 
somethin' ". Cecil later was 
married to a handsome N H 
cowboy in the Dixon dining 

Courtesy Cecil Taylor 
Aunt Mary Dixon 

One time a promising young lawyer from Buffalo drove into 
Kaycee quite late one evening and put up at the Dixon Hotel. It 
was 40° below zero that night, so cold the frost had never gone 
off the horse's hair all day. After a pickup supper in the kitchen, 
Joe told the young man to take the first room to the right at the 
head of the stairs. He did, but upon striking a match to light the 
lamp saw a man already asleep in the bed. Thinking he had 
misinformed Joe he went back down stairs and told him that the 
room was occupied. Joe very disgustedly replied, "Well, he ain't 
takin' up the whole bed, is he?" Whereupon the lawyer again 

6. Mrs. Cecil Taylor, now an old woman living in Kaycee, Wyoming. 


ascended the cold stairway and lit the lamp in the room assigned 
to him. In the flickering light he now saw a big gun belt with 
six-shooters in it hanging from a nail on the wall close to the head 
of the bed. His bed partner remained invisible, head and all, just 
a big, curled up lump under the scanty bed covers. Pulling off 
his boots he crawled into bed, clothes and all, regardless of conse- 
quences, shiveringly grateful that the ice-cold bed had been some- 
what warmed by he knew not whom. When he awoke next morn- 
ing his sleeping companion was gone and he never did find out 
with whom he'd spent the night. 

Another time a green Easterner came in on the stage and put up 
at Dixon's. He was so overwhelmingly enthused with the big open 
spaces, etc., that he arrived a little late for the evening meal. 
Seating himself somewhat self-consciously among the eaters who 
w^re impolitely and noisely cramming food into their mouths, he 
picked up the bowl of white, thickish stuff by his place and, 
grabbing a handful of crackers, crumbled them into the bowl and 
began eating as fast as he could in order to get some of the other 
food which was disappearing into mouths at an astonishing rate 
of speed. Just then old Jack Toddy, the bartender seated down 
the table a ways, yelled, "Joe, pass the gravy." Joe, in an 
aggrieved sort of tone replied, "Can't, Jack, that there dude's 
done et it up." 

Still feeling slightly embarrassed and not a little confused, the 
dude, hoping to avoid further breaches of etiquette, after the meal 
was finished asked if it were permissible to have an "after dinner 
cigar." Joe, in answer, just opened the kitchen door and there 
sat Ma Dixon with her chair tilted way back and her feet propped 
on the rail of the cookstove, puffing contentedly on a big pipe.''^ 
The dude, still trying to be one of them, said, "Thank you, sir, 
and now I think I'll light up, too." 

Seeing the beautiful sunrise the next morning, the young fellow 
from the east regained his former joy at the sights to be seen on 
Powder River and took a walk before breakfast. Returning he 
walked past the saloon and there in the doorway stood a man the 
likes of whom he never even imagined he would be so fortunate 
as to see in person, the real "Alkali Ike" and no doubt about it. 
Hoping to appear entirely at ease in this deeply thrilling western 
atmosphere, he spoke to the man, who was none other than Bill 
Speck, in a friendly manner, saying that he thought Mrs. Dixon 
could not possibly provide sufficient breakfast to satisfy his sud- 
denly enormous appetite. Bill didn't say a word, not one word, 
just smoothed down his mustache with a thumb and stood there 

7. Most pipe smokers then used Mail Pouch tobacco, which was clippings 
from the ends of cigars. It smelled like sheep-dip, or maybe the old, much 
used pipes did. However, the effect was the same. 


lazily and limply, looking up and down the road as if expecting to 
see someone ride up. Then slowly, very slowly indeed, he care- 
lessly placed his hand on his gun handle. 

The Easterner, suddenly fearful, made a hasty retreat to Ma 
Dixon's. He had barely dowsed his face and hands in cold water 
at the chipped wash basin in the corner and seated himself at the 
table when the door opened and in walked this Bill Speck Very 
deliberately he chose a chair facing the young dude, and pulling 
out his six-shooter pounded the butt of it on the table and hollered 
out for his breakfast to be served, all the while glowering darkly 
at the stranger. The waitress said, "Want cream and sugar in your 
coffee this mornin', Bill?" "No, lady, I don't want no sugar or 
no cream and damn little water in it." At that moment two other 
rough-looking men came in and began washing up, and it sud- 
denly occurred to the dude that he was entirely unable to cope 
with the situation after all, and, breakfastless, he beat a hasty 
retreat upstairs to his room where he remained until stage time 
with a chair propped under the doorknob for safety's sake. Nor 
could he exactly understand the "whyfor" of the loud laughter 
emanating from the room below as he hastily climbed the stairs. 
His youthful egotism plus his undisguised fear "clogged his wheels" 
to such an extent that it never occurred to him that he was taking 
the brunt of a cowboy joke. 

It was a funny thing about Bill, too. A person couldn't really 
tell whether he was in fun and "grandstanding", or whether he 
meant to be tough. He was fundamentally a shy sort of person, 
not at all talkative, and as a general rule quick to take offense. 
So when in the least doubt, a fellow just didn't "press the point" 
with Bill. Like one time in a saloon, two rowdy drunken "passers- 
by" asked him to take a drink with them. Bill wasn't much of a 
drinking man, (not for sociabihties' sake any way) and refused the 
offer. One stranger pulled out his gun and stuck it in Bill's ribs 
saying, "I said have a drink." Bill turned around and started for 
the door where he encountered the fellow's companion, gun in 
hand. Bill didn't even draw his gun, just placed his hand lightly 
on the butt and staring fiercely said, "I said I wasn't drinkin' " 
and walked on out the door. 

After the Johnson County Invasion, when the outlaw and rus- 
tling game no longer seemed exactly a healthy occupation, some of 
the Hole-in-the-Wall operators sold out and left the country. It 
was then that Speck bought Hi Bennett's cattle, and set himself 
up in the cow business, without owning an acre of land, too, by the 
way. When the free range deal tightened up, he'd lease a portion 
of land and buy hay to feed his cows, but this only when he had to. 

Bill had two brands, the Horse-Shoe Bar on the left hip and 
Box Dot on the left ribs. He always kept the two brands separate. 
Some one once asked, "Why do you run two brands, Bill?" He 


replied, "Because one is mortgaged deepern' hell, and the other'n 
a darned sight deeper." 

While he was known to be a good roper and cowhand and had a 
bunch of Horseshoe Bar mares that were the best of horses, he 
seldom showed any inclination to participate in "cowboying" after 
he came to Johnson County. Whether he wished purposely to 
give the "no-savvy" appearance or whether he was just too cussed 
lazy to make a hand nobody knew, or cared, for that matter. Some 
considered his attitude just a pose to cast aside any suspicion that 
he might be hooked up with outlaws and rustlers. At any rate 
when on round ups he made a bum hand, rode circle with slow 
horses and didn't ever want to do any of the hard work. 

On one particular occasion a young fellow visiting the Tisdale 
Brothers at TTT decided to ride circle on the round up just for 
the adventure involved and, after looking the hands over, picked 
old Bill as his riding companion, probably because his pace was 
more suited to a green rider's capabilities. Or maybe he was 
intrigued with the surly, hard looks of the man. Guess he thought 
he might see "some shootin' and killin' " if he stayed with Bill; 
at the very least, it ought to prove exciting and western. If he 
expected conversation, he was disappointed, for they rode mile 
after mile with no words spoken. As time passed the morning 
grew hot and sultry. The boy began to want a drink of water 
more than he'd ever wanted anything in his hfe. He finally broke 
the silence by asking, "Aren't there any streams in this country 
where one can get a drink of water?" 

"None worth mentionin'," Bill replied. But soon they came 
to a small, cow-dirtied pool of stagnant water which was fed very 
sparingly from a little spring upon the hill. Bill got off, removed 
his hat and wiped the sweat from his forehead. Then sitting down 
on his heels, brushed aside the cow manure with his hat brim and, 
stretching out full length on the ground, belly-down and bracing 
himself with widespread hands, proceeded to noisily gulp the putrid 
stuff. Then sitting back on his heels and wiping the drips from his 
chin with the back of his hand said, "There's plenty left for you, 
son." But the young man hastily and firmly declined. "Thought 
you was wantin' water." 

"Not that kind of water, sir." 

"Then, boy, you ain't thirsty. You just ain't thirsty Maybe 
we shoulda' brought a nice cup along, huh?" The boy, not missing 
the sarcastic tone and feeling decidedly squeamish inside, said in a 
conciliatory tone, "Guess I didn't want water as badly as T thought; 
but, sir, one thing I'm very glad to find out, is why you cowboys 
wear those big, broad-brimmed hats. Now I know." 

They continued riding along. Seeing some cattle in a little park 
near the top of the Wall, Bill headed up that way and all of a 
sudden, out of the continued silence, he let out a scream like a 



buzzard. The kid's horse grunted Hke he'd been stabbed and took 
off for parts unknown. And that was the last Bill saw of the boy. 
Another time Bill was rounding up some cattle with one of the 
Hard Winter Davis children. As they stopped to open a gate 
they saw a huge rattlesnake in the path and many little rattlesnakes 
wriggling around her. Sensing the intrusion, the big snake opened 
her mouth wide and all the babies immediately crawled into it 
and disappeared. The child, completely amazed, said, "Bill, I 
never saw snakes do that. What made them do that?" Bill very 
nonchalantly replied, "You tell me, son. I can't think like a 

Later, Dolly Davis was riding with Bill and her horse shied 
suddenly, hearing the unmistakable buzz of a rattler. She called 
Bill back to kill the snake which was a huge old thing. Bill pulled 
out his six-shooter to blow its head off and then changed his mind 
and put the gun back in the holster, remarking as he rode off, 
"I ain't goin' to shoot that old feller. If I leave it go it might 
some day bite a sheep-herder. I sure ain't aimin' to be accused 
of aidin' them no count land-grubbers." 

As time went on, the round up boss informed Bill that if he 
expected to have his cattle included he'd have to put on a hand; 
for, as he said, "Bill, you're too darned old to rustle calves, you 
make your circles too short and you're always avoidin' work; so, 
by God, you got to put on a man and a string of good horses for a 
change if you're plannin' on participatin' in This-here trip. That 
was when Bill hired Hugh Riley (see picture) as his "rep". 

Hugh, while never consid- 
ered and never pretending to 
be a "high-flyin', rough-ridin' " 
cowboy, still made a good hand. 
He was a conscientious worker 
and always was able to keep 
mounted on good horses. Also 
he could handle pretty waspy 
ones, even though he never 
owned a new saddle in his life; 
for as he said, "You just sad- 
dle 'em and ride 'em, or you 
don't ride 'em. That's all there 
is to it. Don't matter what 
kinda 'gears' on 'em." 

Courtesy Thelma G. Condit ^Ugh was a little fellow 

physically, rather on the Shortie 
HighRiley_te^enm^front^of his shack Wheelwright type, only less 
aycee, . huskily built, and like Shortie 

was inclined to be sarcastic and tough (a characteristic perhaps 
of all small men. Just their way of assuming importance; what 
they lacked in stature they tried to make up in gruffness.) 

He called everybody "Billy" and didn't hesitate to "tell-off" 


anyone who annoyed him, Uke he told Johnny Tisdale once, "Billy, 
whenever you set your hind end on a good horse he don't stay 
fresh very long. I thought if they gave you plenty of time you 
might get to be a stock hand, but it's lookin' might doubtful." 
He'd cock his head on one side and smile "kinda cute" when he 
said these things and no one ever got very mad at him for he 
seemed much too insignificant to bother with. 

Hugh had a straight-line mouth with wrinkled half-circles at 
each side. His little slit-eyes were pale blue and expressionless. 
His nose had a little round button-end. All in all his face resem- 
bled nothing more than some oblong snowman face made by a 
small child. Hugh was inclined to be bald-headed which may or 
may not have accounted for the fact that he was seldom seen 
without a hat or Scotch cap, so his forehead was always very white 
compared to his ruddy face. He wore a red scarf or bandana 
handkerchief knotted around his neck as habitually as he did his 
hat. He was a neat, clean little fellow, clean-shaven and soap- 
shiny and had that freshly scrubbed look. Even if faded and 
ragged, his overalls, too, were clean and scrubbed-looking like his 

Hugh was born in Illinois, going to northwest Iowa when eight 
years old. He said, "I've herded cattle ever since I was big enough 
to ride a horse. I always tried to be as easy with 'em as I could 
and make a good hand at whatever I did. My Dad taught me 
that." When first coming to Wyoming he worked for the Jim 
Shaw outfit in the Orin Junction country. Then he came farther 
north and started working for Ed Houke at the Buffalo Creek 
Ranch (see map.) He trailed the first Houke cattle in from the 
Muddy Ranch on the edge of the Red Desert, 400 of them. His 
work mostly, however, was hauling supplies from Casper with 
6-horse teams and hauling lumber and posts off the mountains. 
(He was one of the two teamsters at the ranch.) 

Later he worked for Bob Tisdale at the TTT and for Hibbard, 
and May and Babson Brothers (successive owners) for close to 
forty years in all, off and one. In fact, he worked all through the 
Hole-in-the-Wall country, at the Bar-C and Willow Creek Ranch, 

Around 1917 he took up a half-section homestead on Tisdale 
mountain by a big water-well, which he later sold to the TTT when 
he retired to live in Kaycee. His little cabin was always spic and 
span. His clean, spare clothing, neatly rolled, was placed in flour 
sacks suspended from nails on the rafter logs to keep them away 
from the ever-pesty mice and pack rats. The place was full of 
artifacts, stone hammers, Indian beads, etc., found and gathered 
up through the years of riding the range. 

Just before Hugh started working for Bill Speck he'd bought 
a bunch of good saddle mares, branded J Bar G on the left 
shoulder, from old Andy Thomas who lived up on Tisdale Moun- 


tain someplace and cut posts for his scanty living. Old Andy was 
a big, tall Arkansas-type looking man who didn't mind telling any 
kind of a lie (like old Wild-Cat Sam). He had a special horse 
called Injun. He thought a lot of him and never tired of telling this 
yarn to prove the value of the horse. "I had my rope down to 
loop that steer, when old Injun picked up a gopher hole and fell. 
He spilled me in nothin' flat, all tangled up in my blamed rope. 
When Injun got himself up he took off like a bat outta hell 
adraggin' me behind. Seeing as how I was in a bad perdicament 
I fumbled around and got my pocket knife out, thinkin' to cut 
myself loose. But, by that time, we'd hit mighty rough country 
and working a quick turn blamed if I didn't dump that knife, it 
got knocked plum outta my hand. But Injun, smart old Injun, 
turned right around and took me back to where I'd let go the knife 
and I reached down fast-like and grabbed it and cut myself loose. 
Don't know's anybody else's got a horse that head-smart. Old 
Injun can think faster'n most men and that's a fact." 

Bill Speck had no place to put up a hand, no house or anything, 
so he paid Hughes keep in Kaycee while he was working for him. 
While Bill wasn't much of a drinking man, Hugh was. He got 
to be quite a favorite around the saloons, for he fiddled and jigged 
and sang pretty well, and yelled. When he got really drunk how 
he could yell! He'd tilt his hat far back on his head, so far in 
fact that no one understood how it stayed on, as he fiddled and 
jigged. All at once he'd poise his fiddle bow in the air and let 
out a yell the like of which hasn't been heard before or since, 
his red face and white bald pate giving him a ruly ludicrous 
appearance. The fun-loving, simple-entertained cowboys slapping 
money on the bar for another round of whiskey would say, "Come 
on, Hugh, let's have another yell, another drink and another yell, 
damn you, Hugh. Yell! Yell!" And Hugh'd yell and fiddle and 
sing the old songs and everybody would have a wonderful time. 
It took very little to amuse people in those days. 

When Hugh was in town drinking he rode a big white horse. 
He never got too drunk to ride but often had a bad time getting on; 
but the old horse was very understanding and they always got 
home unharmed. Drinking never made Hugh surly or foul- 
mouthed, he was ever a gentleman and thoroughly happy when 

One time he drove a four-horse team into town and pulled up 
in front of the saloon. As they came to a stop he let out one of 
his wild yells which so startled the horses that they took off on a 
high lope and ran away all over the flats east of town. Hugh got 
out his whip and "let 'em have it" and in due time got everything 
under control and again pulled to a stop in front of the saloon. 
Hugh then let out another yell and away they went again, the 
procedure being repeated until finally the horses, winded, gave up 
and stood still with the reins wrapped around the wagon wheel. 


In cold weather Hugh wore several layers of clothing — several 
shirts and several pairs of overalls. He carried his purse in the 
left-hand back pocket of the second layer. Sometimes he got a lit- 
tle cute about paying for a drink, stalling around waiting for some- 
one else to pay for it. One time when this happened the saloon- 
keeper became a wee bit impatient and remarked, "Hugh, I think 
you've got a two-dollar bill in that second layer left hind pocket. 
What do you say to puttin' it down right here, man," as he slapped 
his fingers on the bar. So Hugh groped around in his pockets and 
finally came up with the two-dollar bill. 

On another occasion when Hugh was working up in the Hole- 
in-the-Wall he and an old trapper got on a big drunk. Going to 
the bunkhouse they had to cross Powder River on a narrow plank 
which served as a footbridge. Hugh walked the plank easily; it 
was truly amazing how "he could handle his liquor." But not so 
his companion, who, upon coming to the water's edge and not 
even seeing the footbridge hollered out, "Hugh, I'll be damned if 
I'm going to walk around this lake." Holding his whiskey jug 
high in the air he stepped unsteadily into the water which was quite 
deep, and it got deeper and deeper, but the old fellow went floun- 
dering right along expostulating vociferously about coldness and 
wetness in general. In all likelihood he would have ended in a 
watery grave had not some of the fellows in the bunkhouse heard 
him and gone to his assistance, for Hugh had calmly gone on to 
bed, never bothering to check on the progress of his drinking 
partner. The fellows took off his wet clothing and rubbed his 
shivering flesh and brought him back to his senses, whereupon he 
immediately called for his jug and offered them all a drink, pro- 
foundly remarking as he did so, "Boys, I thought as I was crossing 
that lake what a hell of a life a muskrat must lead." And with 
that he began snoring soundly, entirely unmindful of the narrow 
escape he'd just had. 

Whenever Hugh did get too inebriated to walk or ride a horse, 
he'd wisely stop wherever he was and sleep it off. In the early 
days it was not at all unusual to come upon a man stretched out 
face down on the ground, maybe with a horse standing nearby, 
reins hanging, waiting for his master to "come around." If the 
person riding up on such a sight were a woman, she'd immediately 
become alarmed and just know she'd found a dead man who'd 
been cruelly murdered. Like once when Hugh was discovered 
lying in the dry irrigation ditch on the flat east of Kaycee. Seeing 
the sprawled, limp figure the woman hurried into town and spread 
the news "that a dead man was out there and it was horrible — 
no doubt at all but that he'd been shot and left there by some 
cowardly villain." Whereupon the sheriff and curious loungers 
about town hastened to the spot. Yes, it was a dead man all right 
and old Hugh Riley, too. Some fellow offered his horse to use 
to get the body back to town. As the sheriff leaned down to pick 


him up, Hugh suddenly gave a vicious lunge with a leg and kicked 
the sheriff in the chest, mumbling, "Can't you let a feller be? 
Can't even sleep off a drunk in peace around here any more 
'thout somebody pesterin' around." 

You just never could tell about old Hugh; even when he started 
dying this winter in Rest Haven Nursing home in Buffalo. Sick 
as he was and dying of cancer, he'd still insist upon sitting in a 
chair, fully clothed with his denim jacket and hat on and the red 
kerchief knotted around his neck, still very reserved and gentle- 
manly around the nurses, still tough and independent, hating to 
be beholden to any of them, even for the bare essentials. Finally, 
toward the end, he suffered a severe cerebral hemorrhage and lay 
as dead. The nurse in attendance could find no pulse, so called 
the doctor and said, "Old Hugh is dead, please hurry." But as 
she turned from the phone she heard gurgling noises in Hugh's 
room and hurried in to find him not dead after all. He miracu- 
lously rallied and ate a good breakfast next morning and lived a 
week before another seizure shook him. Three more times he was 
as one dead — the ambulance was even on its way once to take him 
to the mortuary, but each time he revived. You never could tell 
about Hugh. He was tough all right, but it was pathetic to see 
him die so gallantly alone, no family and no friends, with the only 
thing of value among his possessions being a watch which they 
buried with him. The west had many of these little men — 
harmless, insignificant, colorless and unattached, who asked no 
favors of the Lord and always maintained a fierce independence, 
never becoming a burden to anyone, even at the very last. 

All these years Bill made frequent trips to Buffalo to call upon 
a certain girl ("in the row") named Jean, a pretty dark-haired 
wench who systematically and cheerfully took every dollar she 
could from him. He was most generous. He would ride into 
town, put his horse in the Potts Livery Stable (which was where 
the present-day Suzanne Shop is) and go across the street to the 
saloon where he'd buy a quart of whiskey. Returning to the barn 
he'd take a tew drinks, and again corking the bottle, hide it under 
his saddle blanket and head for Jean's. As soon as he was out of 
sight one of the Potts boys would pour the whiskey on the ground 
and turn the bottle in at the saloon for a dime. In relating the 
incident years later the young man said "Poor old Bill, the ladies 
got his money and I got his whiskey." 

Along in the early 1900's Buffalo was called the "sucker town 
of the West.'' The cattlemen were all making pretty good money 
and the popular thing at the moment was to invest in something 
really spectacular and thus develop the West. Handsome, friendly 
swindlers came along, with that seemingly straight-from-the-shoul- 
der talk that could float any blue-sky proposition, like movie 
outfits which never produced a picture, dude ranches that never 
were built, mining stock that didn't exist, and automobile supply 


companies which were phonies. As one old fellow said, "Those 
promoters were the kind who could tickle 'em under the chin and 
sell 'em anything." 

One of them organized the National Order of Cowboy Rangers 
(just before World War I) which primarily was of a social nature 
and supposedly quite exclusive, but also had certain benefits 
attached like death insurance, etc., a selling point appealing to 
those not too socially minded. Bill Speck became a member, for 
he said "he would like to get his lady friend into society." But 
the thing didn't last long, only "two or three deaths." 

About this time Bill's eyesight began to fail and he decided it 
would be the opportune time to sell out and invest his money and 
live off the income it earned. Mr. Zindel bought his cattle. While 
riding to gather his livestock a fellow encountered Bill out in the 
hills wearing dark heavy glasses and asked in the course of conver- 
sation, "What ya' goin' to do with all your money. Bill?" 

"I'm goin' to invest it in one of these here modern things like 
the movin' picture or automobile business or somethin'." 

And he did — the whole $65,000, which was "a hell of a stake 
in those days," and went broke, dead broke. 

So Bill then went down to the Salt Creek oil fields and hired 
out to guard leases. The place was really booming and full of all 
sorts of shady, dishonest characters. Individuals or oil companies 
would lease 160 acres, build a shack or pitch a tent on it and hire 
a man to stay there and see that no one jumped the claim. 

One time the Midwest Oil Company hired Bill to guard a section 
on top of a hill and ordered him to keep all trucks and vehicles 
(except their Company ones) off the land, day and night. They 
also said not to do any shooting. Bill, very indignant, said, "Now 
just how yah goin' to stop a truck without a gun?" 

The town of Lavoy was "rip-roarin' wild" at that time. A Mr. 
Ward started up a makeshift theater (silent pictures) and had his 
two daughters taking tickets and ushering. He hired old Bill to 
just stand around by the ticket window to "scare-off" any obstrep- 
erous persons who might get out of line around his daughters. 
After a time Bill got to thinking his pay, $1.50 per night, didn't 
amount to much and decided to hit Mr. Ward for a raise. 
The next evening an acquaintance to whom he'd been complaining 
came in. "Well, Bill, did you get your raise?" Bill pulled out his 
stinky old pipe and very deliberately tamped it full of tobacco, 
struck a match on the backside of his overalls and eventually 
replied, "Yep, finally got my raise, all right, Tom. Sure glad, too, 
'cause I'd surely hate to have to shoot a man for a dollar and a 

Once when a couple of young hoodlums got rough in the lobby 
Bill walked up to them and said, "You, there. If you don't want 
your immortal souls to go to hell, and your carcasses to go head 
first out that door you better behave yourselves." 


When Bill lost his stake, Jean, now unable to wheedle money out 
of Bill and getting too old to be much in demand in her former 
profession, decided she'd better marry Bill. "Bill, we ought to 
get married,'" she said; so after he got a steady job in the field 
he sent for her and called up the preacher and said, "Sir, will you 
come down to marry a gentleman and a lady?" He did and they 
were joined in holy (legal anyway) matrimony, and Jean made him 
a good wife. 

As Bill got older and blinder he ended up as night watchman 
in a big machine shop at Midwest. He became quite a favorite 
with the oil field employees, too, as time went on, but as he so 
aptly said, "It ain't so bad bein' old, it ain't hke you think. It 
just takes a lot of gettin' used to, that's all — it takes a lot of gettin' 
used to, to see a good shootin' man reduced to shootin' nothin' 
but bedbugs." 

Bill Speck brings to mind a quotation once heard "What a 
pitiful machine man is, after all, not one bodily wrapping hke 
another, not one soul that does not differ from all the rest." For 
surely there never wiU be another person like BUI whose philosophy 
of life was summed up in this remark of his, "If you're crooked 
and lucky you're O.K. — there's no use of bein' honest and bull- 

Author's note — J. Tom Wall of Buffalo, Wyoming, is now 
writing a book dealing with the history of the Midwest Oil Field 
and early round up days. I am indebted to him for some of the 
stories used in this article. 

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Eighth Trek across Wyoming Directed by 

Compiled by 
Mrs. a. R. Boyack, Trek Historian 

August 10-11, 1957 

Caravan: 59 participants 12 to 21 cars 

(Not all participants and cars remained on the entire two-day trek.) 


Captain L. C. Bishop of Cheyenne 

Guide Joe Bagley of Lander 

Assistant Guide ....Jules Farlow of Lander 

Wagon Boss ..Francis Tanner of Big Piney 

Assistant Wagon Boss....Lyle Hildebrand of Douglas 

Historian Mrs. A. R. Boyack of Cheyenne 

Topographer John B. Franks of U.S. Geological Survey 


Photographer. George Christopulos of Cheyenne 

Chaplain Col. A. R. Boyack of Cheyenne 

Cooks Helen Tanner of Big Piney 

Elizabeth Hildebrand of Douglas 

NOTE: Numbers preceding "M" indicate miles west from Burnt 
Ranch taken from Lander's Report. 

Friday— August 9, 1957 

Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Marsolf and granddaughter, and Mr. C. L. 
Bishop and grandson camped out Friday night at the Burnt Ranch. 

Saturday — August 10, 1957 

Joe Bagley - Guide 

8:30 A.M. Cars gathered at Burnt Ranch which was also 
known as Gilbert's Trading Post. 

9:00 A.M. Prayer by the Chaplain. 



Courtesy George Christopulos 
At Burnt Ranch, Start of Trek No. 8 

Burnt Ranch by Hazel N. Boyack 

In this vast wilderness arena that was once the early West, there 
was no more important and historic section than famed South Pass, 
the early portal through which so many western-bound emigrants 
made their way, from the period of the trappers and mountain men 
to the advent of the railroad, in 1869. 

This high country, which was the wide and convenient pathway 
across the Continental Divide, had many delightful camping spots 
along its route. Grassy meadow lands, interlaced by the beautiful 
Sweetwater River, made for the ideal as far as camp sites for 
weary emigrant trains were concerned. 

This morning, August 10th, 1957, we stand on one of those 
historic sites, "Old Burnt Ranch." Historians point out the fact 
that the buildings here were burned twice by Indians, hence I 
venture the guess that is how it received its name, "Burnt Ranch." 
We owe a debt of gratitude to Captain Nickerson for chiseling 
with care the name of this place on the stone that stands nearby. 
The name will live on! 

Here in the summer of 1856 was erected Mormon Mail Station. 
The events which led up to this enterprising movement were these : 
The citizens of Utah Territory had become dissatisfied with the 
type of mail service that had been given to the people of the 
Territory. It was slow, irregular, and inefficient. Like all these 
western areas experiencing rapid growth, they were eager for better 
and faster methods of getting the mail from the Missouri River 
to the Salt Lake Valley. 


On the 26th of January, 1856, a mass meeting was held in Salt 
Lake City at which time officers were chosen for this new enter- 
prise. It was to bear the name of the Y. X. Company, with 
Governor Brigham Young as president. Both Mormon and non- 
Mormon men enlisted their services to help man the new organ- 
ization. Hopes ran high for a most successful venture in the field 
of transportation. 

Bids were opened for a contract to carry the mail from Inde- 
pendence to Salt Lake City. Hiram Kimball, being the lowest 
bidder, was awarded the contract for the sum of $23,600. The 
former mail contractor, a Mr. W. F. Magraw, had submitted his 
bid for the sum of $50,000. The reason for the low bid of Mr. 
Kimball was that his contract would operate in conjunction with 
that of the Y. X. Company, thus making it possible to operate the 
two successfully at low cost. 

Plans went rapidly ahead to erect suitable mail stations along the 
route. One of the chief ones, called Mormon Mail Station, was 
located here at the site of Burnt Ranch; another at Deer Creek, 
near the present location of Glenrock, Wyoming. Still another 
was established at Old Fort Bridger. The station located here at 
Burnt Ranch was also designated as Gilbert's Station, no doubt 
taking its name from one of the men who operated it. 

In the meantime enemies had been sowing tares in this fair field 
of enterprise. Misunderstandings, due to untruthful reports circu- 
lated by former Federal Judge W. W. Drummond, and the former 
mail contractor, W. F. Magraw, caused the Government to cancel 
the mail contract. The Y. X. Company that had such a promising 
and auspicious beginning was forced to suspend its activities. 

The great field of overland transportation to the West, however, 
was rapidly developing. Burnt Ranch was, at an earlier time, 
called South Pass Stage Station. Here the famous rocking Concord 
Coaches, carrying their heavy load of passengers, arrived and 
departed. The long freighting trains of Russell, Majors and Wad- 
dell, used the facilities of this historic site during those lush days 
for freighting sixteen miUion pounds of goods to Camp Floyd in 
Utah Territory. 

Here on this site was heard the rapid staccato of hoof beats as 
the Pony Express rider and horse arrived and disappeared like a 
phantom beyond the western horizon. Here also was one of the 
telegraph stations established by Edward Creighton, in 1861. 

From 1862 to 1868 was a period of active military operations 
in Wyoming due to numerous Indian uprisings. A garrison of 
soldiers under the command of Colonel W. O. Collins of the 1 1th 
Ohio Volunteers was stationed here. The troops were scattered in 
small detachments as far as Pacific Springs in order to do escort 
duty and accompany the Overland Stage and the emigrant trains. 
The Indians in this area at that time were in a very belligerent 


One of the most important things for which Burnt Ranch is to be 
remembered is because it was one of the three places of departure 
on the Lander Cut-Off Road, or Lander Trail. Construction of 
this road was authorized by Congress in 1856. This new route 
was to serve two main purposes: first, it would by-pass the Utah 
and the Mormon communities; second, it would shorten the period 
of travel by seven days and avoid the Green River desert area as 
one leaves South Pass. Mr, W. F. Magraw wr^s chosen as Super- 
intendent of the project, and F. W. Lander, Chief Engineer. 
Because of gross mismanagement during the winter of 1857-1858, 
Mr. Magraw was relieved of his Superintendency and Colonel 
Lander took his place. The Colonel, with a group of men, had 
wintered in the beautiful Wind River Valley near the present site 
of Lander, Wyoming. (That little city was later named for him.) 

In the spring, work was actively begun on surveying an entirely 
new route from Gilbert's Station to Fort Hall. Mostly Mormon 
men from various communities in Utah were selected for the 
construction job because they gave such good service. A large 
portion of Oregon-bound emigrants used the Lander Cut-Off until 
the completion of the rails to the West in 1869. 

9:15 A.M. Arrived opposite an old trading post called Aspen 

Helen Henderson gave the history of Aspen Hut 

Aspen Hut, from all indications, was probably the first supply 
depot and headquarters for a construction outfit that was to engage 
in major road construction within the present boundaries of 

At this forgotten spot, most all the initial surveys were com- 
menced on what became known as the Lander Trail, a part of a 
road building project officially designated as the Central Division 
of the Fort Kearney (in Nebraska), South Pass (Wyoming), and 
Honey Lake Wagon Road (California), a post and military road 
authorized by Congress in 1856. 

Immediately upon the authorization of the road building and 
improvement program, which was allotted to the Topographical 
Engineers working under the Department of Interior, the Secretary 
of Interior chose one Wm. F. Magraw as Supt. of the expedition 
and F. W. Lander as the Chief Engineer, with instructions to 
assemble an outfit at Independence, Missouri. 

From there the expedition was to proceed to Ft. Kearney on the 
Oregon Trail and from that point improve the road, especially at 
Ash Hollow and Scotts Bluff. From South Pass they were to 
construct a wagon road to Fort Hall that would be more practi- 
cable for covered wagon emigrants than the existing roads between 
South Pass and Bear River. From Fort Hall it was expected to 
again fall into the old Oregon-California trail and improve it to 


where the Cahfornia emigration turned off at the mouth of Raft 
River in Idaho. 

The Californians were demanding a road into their state by 
more or less taking advantage of the political conditions existing 
between the anti and pro-slavery states but they were not sure or 
united in opinion as to where they wanted it to enter their state 
and of its final destination. So as a compromise the Department 
of Interior promised a road to the Honey Lake in eastern Cali- 
fornia, from where the California people could lay out and build 
their state roads as they saw fit. 

Magraw lost a great deal of time in getting organized and 
away from Independence. His rate of travel was pitifully slow. 
He did nothing in the way of road improvement except a few hours 
work at Ash Hollow, nothing at Scotts Bluff, and finally arrived 
out on the Sweetwater River late in the fall, from where he sent 
the bulk of his outfit over to the Popo Agie River, near where 
Lander City now stands, to erect some log buildings and go into 
winter quarters. 

His mismanagement was so outstanding that during the winter 
of 1857-1858 he was relieved from his command and Colonel 
F. W. Lander was placed in charge. 

In the meantime, however. Lander had taken the Engineers of 
the outfit and had gone directly to the South Pass from wherd 
he thoroughly explored the possibility of improving the old Oregon 
Trail, both via Fort Bridger and the Sublette Road between there 
and the Bear River. Not deeming either of these routes feasible, 
he set to work surveying an entirely new route from the vicinity 
of Gilbert's Station, now known as Burnt Ranch, to Fort Hall and 
by the time Magraw had arrived at Fort Laramie, he had his new 
route staked out and was waiting to commence work on it 

Lander, seeing that the season was too far advanced to accom- 
plish anything, cooperated with Magraw in the idea of wintering 
the expedition in the mountains and from there make an early 
start the following spring. 

Early in the spring of 1858 after Lander had assumed command, 
he went into the Mormon settlements and hired additional men, 
gathered those that had wintered at Magraw's Fort Thompson on 
the Popo Agie, and centered his forces at Aspen Hut, where he 
constructed a few log buildings to serve as a temporary head- 
quarters, and from where a zero stone was set up as a base of all 
his surveys. 

Lander chose three points from where his new road would leave 
the old Oregon Trail in this vicinity. The first was at the bend of 
Strawberry Creek. This route crossed Rock Creek about a mile 
above the place where the old Oregon Trail crossed and struck 
almost directly west to make its final crossing of the Sweetwater 
River just above the mouth of present day Lander Creek. 

A second departure from the Oregon Trail was immediately 


after its Willow Creek Crossing, where his new road took a 
westerly course and joined the first a little northwest of Aspen Hut. 

The third and final route took off at Gilbert's Station in a 
northwesterly direction following along the south side of present 
Slaughter House Gulch to Aspen Hut and from there on out to 
join the other two combined routes at the crossing of Pine Creek, 
where all three were one and the same to the Sweetwater crossing. 

The zero stone set up at Aspen Hut was inscribed with the 
latitude and longitude of its location, also the compass variation, 
and from Lander's reports at the close of the season it is indicated 
that he cached a quantity of tools, wagons, and other supplies at 
Aspen Hut. A careful search of the records does not reveal that 
these caches were ever lifted. 

During the winter of 1858, Lander prepared an itinerary of his 
route from Gilbert's Station to City Rocks in Idaho and caused it 
to be published as an emigrant guide book. 

His new route, however, did not go over too well. While it 
offered better watering places and pasturing grounds at shorter 
intervals than the older routes, it passed through a terrain that 
presented more difficult hills and ridges to ascend and descend. 
As a winter road for mail and stage lines, it was just too far north, 
passing through a country where snows come early and remained 

The route was laid out during the times of the so called "Mor- 
mon Rebellion", somewhat with a thought in mind to by-pass the 
Salt Lake Valley settlements and the ferries across the Green River 
that were owned and manned by these people. 

As soon as the Mormon trouble was settled the Mormons began 
to use their influence in bringing the California travel their way 
by stressing the value of Hasting's old cutoff. Too, the Civil War 
was drawing near. The North wanted a central route to Cal- 
ifornia. In this they really needed the help of the Mormon people 
which eventually proved so valuable during the Stage, Pony 
Express, and First Transcontinental Telegraph period. 

A large portion of the Oregon emigrants used the Lander Trail 
until the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, but the 
bulk of the travel was to California; consequently. Aspen Hut and 
other once busy sites along the Lander Trail were soon forgotten. 
Today one finds the evidences of Aspen Hut on the east bank 
of Slaughter House Gulch in the form of several low mounds, 
ancient stumps of trees, and scattered stones from the fallen fire- 

(All data from the Fort Kearney-South Pass and Honey Lake 
Wagon Road papers from the National Archives, copies of which 
are in the Henderson collections.) 

10:10 A.M. Left Lander road and drove south on highway 28 
four miles then northwest on a country road about six miles to 
reenter the Lander road at the Lander Creek Crossing 17.61 M. 


Mr. Joseph Bagley gave a synopsis of the Lander Road 

The road which we are travehng over today and tomorrow was 
known as the Fort Kearney-South Pass-Honey Lake Wagon Road. 
This road was laid out and constructed by Colonel F. W. Lander 
in the years 1857, 1858 and 1859. 

The following information is taken from the Senate Executive 
Document of the Second Session, 35th Congress in 1858-59. We 
are indebted to Mr. Paul Henderson of Bridgeport, Nebraska, for 
furnishing this information, which he copied from the original 

The eastern section which Colonel Lander constructed, was the 
second portion of the road from Independence Rock to the City 
of Rocks in southern Idaho. There was very little construction 
made by Colonel Lander on the road from Independence Rock to 
Gilbert's Trading Station at South Pass. The portion we are 
interested in today is from the Gilbert's Trading Post, or now 
known as Burnt Ranch, west across the Sweetwater, the Little and 
Big Sandy Creeks, across the New Fork, the Green River, the 
Alkali and up the valley of Piney Creeks, through South Finey 
Basin, over TTiompson's Pass, up LaBarge Creek and across Com- 
missary Ridge, across Smith's Fork into Star Valley, down the 
Salt River and up Stump Creek to the Idaho State Line. The 
total distance of the Ft. Kearney-South Pass-Honey Lake Road is 
1,387 miles, but the portion we are covering to-day and to-morrow 
is only 163.48 miles, according to Colonel Lander's survey. 

We have spent many days in tracing out this old trail, using all 
the available information such as the original report of Colonel 
Lander and the original General Land Office Survey plats which 
were made in 1883 and 1893 and also information furnished by 
several early day residents who were familiar with the actual 
location of the trail in certain places. 

The object of this trek is to familiarize people with the location 
of the actual trail and the history. We can at this time travel only 
portions of the trail as some parts are obliterated, and other parts 
too rough to travel over with automobiles. 

(Quote from Colonel Lander's original report) 

"By the Law of Congress and the instruction of the War Depart- 
ment, a new road was to be built rather than improve on the old 
one. A route has therefore been sought over the more difficult 
portions of the Division. 

1st Avoid alkaline plains of the desert west of Big Sandy. 
2nd Pass across Green River at a point above the depth 

of water requiring the use of ferrys. 
3rd To find better grass for livestock. 

For these purposes, the whole country between South Pass and the 


Courtesy George Christopulos 

At graves of Wm. Dunham and I. M. Mead, Near Old Piney Fort, 
Shirley Basin. 

City of Rocks was explored, surveyed and mapped and the result 
is that the route of emigration may be shortened 7 days travel in 
the distance of 500 miles." 

The amount appropriated for this construction was $40,000 and, 
as far as records show, is the only part of the Emigrant Trails 
through this part of Wyoming ever subsidized by the Government. 

Actual construction was started on this road in 1857 by an 
advance party east of this point, and they wintered on the Little 
Popo Agie at Fort Thompson. Colonel Lander arrived at South 
Pass on June 14, 1858, and started construction from South Pass 
through Smith's Fork. The expedition returned to the States in 
the fall of 1858 and the balance of the road was surveyed and 
completed to the third section of the Honey Lake Road in 1859. 

In as far as the records are available, the Lander Cut-Off was 
used by the emigrants from 1858 to 1868. The crossing of the 
Salt River Range, or Commissary Ridge as it is now known, could 
only be accomplished in the months of July and August because 
of the high depth of snow. The road was used by a large number 
of trail herds from the Oregon Territory to Nebraska during the 
1870's, '80's and '90's. A more detailed report of this will be 
given later. 

• The method that Colonel Lander used to survey was by latitude 
and longitude, and the location each day was determined by a 
solar transit. The actual distance was measured by Surveyor's 
chain and a map was prepared. The equipment used included 
ox-teams, mule-teams, plows and picks and shovels. All materials 


and supplies for this expedition were hauled from St. Louis and 
Ft. Laramie by ox-team. The man-power used was civilian, 
recruited from St. Louis and also Mormons from the Territory of 

Col. Lander's report states: 

"Between South Pass and Fort Hall; 
62,310 cubic yards of rock excavated 
23 miles of heavy pine timber cleared 
1 1 miles of willow cleared." 

This route did accomplish the purpose the Government instruct- 
ed Colonel Lander to do. It was a shorter and more direct route; 
also the water holes and grass were more evenly spaced. If it 
were not for the short time it could be used in the summer months, 
it would have been used by more emigrants. Then, too, due to 
the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868, the 
Lander Road was used by only a small proportion of the total 
number of emigrants. 

Tom Sun of Sweetwater trailed 3,000 cattle over the Lander 
Road in 1882 from the Oregon Territory to his ranch near Devil's 
Gate on Sweetwater. 

In Wyoming Cattle Trails John K. Rollinson writes, "In this 
splendid country we met plenty of local cattlemen who had ranches 
in the surrounding country, and we were able to get fresh meat, 
and as the weather was moderately cool we could keep meat two 
or three days. We crossed the Green River about five miles north 
of its junction with New River, and after leaving New River we 
trailed due east on Alkali Creek to the south fork of the Muddy; 
then southeast to the head of Sandy Creek. That was the poorest 
of all the country we traveled in Wyoming. The feed was none too 
good, and the water poor, as many streams were low, it being a 
dry year. (1883) 

"After trailing along Big Squaw Creek we went southeast for 
about six miles over bad country, and came onto the Little Sandy. 
Here the trail climbs over the continental divide at an altitude of 
about 7,500 feet. There were no heavy grades, just a gradual rise, 
and as soon as we reached the east slope of the pass we were at 
the head of Lander Creek, down which we traveled to the upper 
west fork of the Sweetwater River. Here the South Pass country 
along the Oregon Trail began to look familiar. We were now on 
the main-traveled thoroughfare again, and it seemed good to be 
able to point out familiar landmarks, and to meet an occasional 
acquaintance. Most trail herds followed the Oregon Trail. We 
were one of the few that used this cut-off". 

From the History of Wyoming by C. G. Coutant: 

Lander Road — "substantially a government road from Mis- 
souri through to California. The object was to open a highway 


which would permit emigrants to reach the Pacific coast without 
passing thru Salt Lake or the territory occupied by the Mormons. 
. . . William M. McGraw secured the contract, with the under- 
standing that the road builders should be accompanied by a suffi- 
ciently large military escort to give protection while the work was 
going on. . . . The expedition left Ft. Leavenworth in the spring 
of 1857 and at once started for Ft. Kearney, . . . and late in the 
fall reached Rocky Ridge near South Pass. . . the soldiers and 
artisans remained until the spring opened, when Colonel F. W. 
Lander arrived and took command of the expedition. It was the 
first visit of Col. Lander to this beautiful valley and it is said he 
was much pleased with it. Hon. B. F. Lowe became acquainted 
with the colonel a year later. Lander liking the location of the 
valley, and Lowe being favorably impressed with the many good 
qualities of the colonel, nothing was more natural than that he 
should name the town, which he was afterwards to locate, in 
honor of Colonel Lander. On the 1st of June, 1 858, the command 
moved south to Rocky Ridge and took up the work of building the 
road on across Wyoming. Before leaving, Colonel Lander nego- 
tiated a treaty with the Shoshone tribe for a right of way through 
the country claimed by them, extending westward from the Sweet- 
water to Ft. Hall. The Indians were paid on the spot in horses, 
firearms, ammunition, blankets and many other articles of value, 
highly prized by Washakie and the chief men of the nation. The 
Shoshones remembered Colonel Lander kindly ever after and they 
mourned his death when they heard of it. He made several rail- 
road surveys in the Rocky Mountains and in one of these he was 
the sole survivor. In 1861 he entered the war for the preservation 
of the Union and in May of that year was appointed a brigadier 
general, and distinguished himself in several campaigns in Virginia. 
He died in 1862. His wife was an actress of note, Jean Margaret 

From the Dictionary of American Biography 

Frederick West Lander, Dec. 17, 1821-Mar. 2, 1862 

Born at Salem, Mass., son of Edward Lander and Eliza West 
Lander. Young Lander received his early education at Franklin 
and Dummer Academies and was noted for physical strength and 
love of sports. Later he studied engineering at South Andover 
and at Norwich, Vt, then practiced his profession for a time in 
survey work on several eastern railroads, in which he established 
a reputation for ability and thoroughness. 

In 1853 he served as a civil engineer during the survey of the 
Northern Pacific Railroad route. In the spring of 1854 he headed 
a party of exploration to report on the feasibility of a projected 
"Railroad from Puget Sound to Mississippi River via South Pass". 
In 1858, Lander's party of 70 men were attacked by Piute Indians 



in a spirited engagement. The Indians were repulsed. Altogether, 
he led or participated in five transcontinental surveys and for his 
accomplishments received high praise from the Secretary of In- 

Besides being a successful and intrepid explorer as well as a 
soldier of ability, Lander was a vigorous and forceful writer and 
was the author of many patriotic poems of the war period. 

10:40 A.M. Proceeded on the Lander road for 12.5 miles. 
11:30 A.M. Arrived at Little Sandy Crossing (old ford just 
above present bridge.) 

Jules Farlow, Sr., told about his Grandfather, Mr. Jules Lam- 

First we will give you a short history of the Lamoreaux family 
Jules Lamoreaux was born October 28, 1836 at Saint Hyacinth, 
Canada, near Montreal. At age twelve he ran away from home 
and worked as a cabin boy on Mississippi River boats. Evidently 
he and his brother Clement Lamoreaux landed among the Sioux 
Indians in the Dakotas. Each married Sioux Indian girls. 

On April 5, 1868, in company with Jules E. Coffee, Ward 
Noble, H. B. McCumber, Jules Lamoreaux and about twenty-six 
others started with ox teams and wagons loaded with whiskey, 
beer, general merchandise and machinery for brewery, as Mr. 
McCumber was to embark in the brewery business when at their 
destination. South Pass, Wyoming. Jules Lamoreaux's wife and 
two children were in the party. She drove a team of Indian ponies. 

The wagon train arrived at South Pass May 2nd, 1868. Willow 
Lamoreaux was born that night. According to history, for the 
next six years, Lamoreaux hauled freight from Bryan on the U.P. 
Railroad to the mines, killed some wild game for the miners, and 
hauled hay from what is now named Lamoreaux Meadows on Big 
Sandy River at what is now called Big Sandy Opening, about 30 
miles southwest of South Pass. 

Lamoreaux Meadows is a large area about two miles long and 
covered with natural mountain meadow grass. Mr. Lamoreaux 
operated a store at Atlantic City. While at this place a brother, 
Oliver Lamoreaux, was killed by Indians and buried near Atlantic 
City. Oliver and John Pelon were hunting horses when ambushed 
by Indians near Burnt Ranch on Sweetwater. Pelon fought his 
way back to Atlantic City. 

A few of the men at the mines and Ft. Stambaugh at that time 
were: E. F. Cheney, Major Noyes Baldwin, R. H. Hall Capt. 
H. G. Nickerson, John Pelon, James Irwin, F. G. Burnett, William 
McCabe, Joe Farris, Richard Sherlock, Boss Tweet, John and Abe 
Fosher, Earnest and Mart Hornecker, Frank Lowe, J. K, Moore 
and others too numerous to mention. 

Jules Lamoreaux moved to Lander Valley in the spring of 1874, 



Courtesy George Christopiilos 
At Marker on Lander Trail near Smoot. 

homesteaded land on the hill east adjoining Lander and built up a 
herd of about 6,000 cattle. He also had quite a herd of horses. 
Hard winters of 1886-1887 killed most of the cattle. He became 
Mayor of Lander. He died in Lander December 27, 1914. 

12:15 P.M. After lunch the party traveled on and off the old 
road until they reached a spot designated by Lander as the Big 
Hole of Big Sandy. 

2:00 P.M. Arrived at the Big Sandy crossing of the present 
road. The old Lander road crossed just above the county bridge 
39.6 M. 

2:30 P.M. Traveled mostly on a country road for eleven miles 
to Grass Spring. 47.75 M. Two miles after leaving Grass Spring 
we entered the old road and traveled it the next twenty-three miles 
to the Crossing of the Highway 187, where there is an historical 
marker in commemoration of the Lander road. 

3 : 45 P.M. Continued sixteen more miles on the old road to the 
crossing of New Fork River. One of the old crossings of Lander 
is about a mile above the highway bridge. 66.31 M. as shown 
by Lander. 

4.30 P.M. Left this road intersection, returned to the oiled road 
and drove near Green River where we took a dirt road up the 
Green to a crossing. 71.82 M. Here the party camped for the 
night on Phil Marincic's Ranch near the Green River. Twenty- 
five people enjoyed the picnic supper and fireside. 


Sunday— August 11, 1957 

6:00 A.M. Everyone responded to the breakfast call from 
Mr. C. W. Robertson of Columbia Geneva Steel Corporation. He 
generously furnished pancakes for everyone. 

7:30 A.M. Departed after leaving the camp in tiptop shape. 

8:15 A.M. Arrived at the Lander Trail Marker on highway 
189 four miles northeast of Big Piney. Francis Tanner explained 
that it would be impossible to follow the old road because of 
irrigation ditches and ranches. 

From Big Piney we went west on a county road to Piney Fort 
and Snyder Basin. Old Piney Fort is approximately twenty-five 
miles from Big Piney on the highway and 107.56 M. on the 
Lander road. 

9:20 A.M. Paused at the grave of Wm. Durham (died 
7-18-1859) and L M. Mead (died 7-1-1864.) 

10:10 A.M. Paused at the grave of Elizabeth Paul Short 
prayers were given by the Chaplain at the graves. 

11:00 A.M. Arrived at the La Barge Ranger Station. 

1 1 :20 A.M. Arrived at the top of Commissary Ridge. 

Joe Bagley briefed the party on Commissary Ridge. 

We are now at the top of Commissary Ridge on the Lander 
Road. The mountains surrounding us are referred to in Colonel 
Lander's report as the Wasatch, but are now called the Salt River 
Range. Also the canyon to the west is known as Hobble Creek 
and is a fork of the Smith's Fork, referred to by Colonel Lander 
as First Branch of Smith's Fork. 

The old trail crossed through the hollow to the west of us and 
went down Hobble Creek for 1 and 3/4 miles. It then turned 
north around Buckskin Mt. and down a small creek into the main 
fork of Smith's Fork. The distance as quoted in Colonel Lander's 
report from LaBarge Creek to the main crossing on Smith's Fork 
was 10 miles. We are unable at this time to travel this old trail, 
but we will use the Forest Service Road and we can show you the 
old crossing on the main fork of Smith's Fork, and that is where 
we will have lunch. 

Through the courtesy of Mr. George Hankin of Kemmerer, 
Wyo., we have located a grave on the north bank of Hobble Creek 
where the trail leaves the river bottom. This grave is plainly 
marked with a stone inscribed as follows- "Estella Brown, laid 
to rest July 29, 1891". The Forest Service at one time fenced 
this grave, but at the present time it is gone. We will have a 
photograph of this grave made to be placed with this report. 

The name Commissary Ridge was given to this divide in the 
early days when it was used as a sheep trail and outfits would 
supply their herds with provisions and salt cached along the top 


of this divide. It is still used to some extent for this purpose today. 
It is the watershed between the Green River drainage and Bear 
River drainage and extends for some 60 miles in a north and south 

I would also like to call to your attention the initials and dates 
as inscribed on the trees directly south of this point, and where 
the road leaves the LaBarge Ranger Station fence, there are addi- 
tional names and dates carved on the trees. 

As referred to earlier in our talks, the Lander Road was used 
extensively as a stock trail for large herds of cattle, sheep and 
horses, trailing from Oregon Territory to Nebraska in the 1880's 
and '90's. 

I would like to quote again from Wyoming Cattle Trails by John 
K. Rollinson; 

"In 1883 - Trailing cattle from Oregon to Nebraska. Followed 
trail to Fort Hall and almost entirely the so-called Lander's 
Cut-Off or Lander Road, which was laid out and constructed by 
Colonel Lander between 1857 and 1859 for the Government, and 
was first known as the Fort Kearney, South Pass and Honey Lake 
Wagon Road . . . 

"We came into Wyoming at the upper end of Star Valley, near 
the present site of Auburn, then trailed south about four miles 
west of the site of the present town of Afton, Wyoming, and along 
Salt River to the crossing of Smiths Fork. We had good camps 
almost every night, and our cattle and horses were showing great 
improvement. We then were on a winding trail leading through 
broken country to LaBarge Meadows; then our trail went east, past 
the present town of LaBarge, on a tributary of Green River, 
This is the most southerly point of this trail from Fort Hall. We 
then drove east and slightly north along tributaries of South Piney 
Creek to the middle fork of Piney Creek, passmg the site of the 
present town of Big Piney about five miles north," 

1 -.40 P.M. Arrived at highway 89 at a point where the Lander 
Road enters and crosses it. 

Lester Bagley described the country from Smith's Fork to the 
Salt River. 

After crossing the Divide between Smith's Fork and the Salt 
River we have followed in the general direction of the Old Lander 
Trail. We crossed it twice and joined it the third time on 
the last bench before turning west to Fish Creek, at which point 
we joined U. S. Highway 89. We then followed it to this point 
a distance just short of one mile. The stream we crossed after 
100 yards to the west was the Salt River. At the time we turned 
west to meet Highway 89, the Old Trail continued on in the 
northerly direction for a short distance and then turned east and 


down a steep descent to Salt River. The Trail forded the river 
at this point and the distance between the Monument and the 
ford, about 3/4 of a mile, was a very much used camp ground 
for the early emigrants along the Trail. 

We are now in the south end of the Upper Star Valley and the 
Trail continues on in a northerly direction, crosses the Salt River 
near the present town of Smoot and then continues on the westerly 
side of the Salt River, crosses Crow Creek a short distance south 
of the present east-west road from Afton through Neal String and 
then veers slightly to the west and ascends Stump Creek crossing 
the State Line into Idaho a short distance up Stump Creek. 

2:00 P.M. Left on highway 89 to Afton and from there west 
on a county road to the Salt Mines on Stump Creek then over the 
line into Idaho. 

Farewell talk at the state line by Lester Bagley 

We are now at a point where the Old Lander Trail crossed into 
Idaho. The Trail at this point was just across the creek. The 
Trail at this point continues on in a westerly direction for about 
a mile and a half, then turns north, continuing up Stump Creek 
and over the Divide on to Lanes Creek and then continues on to 
Fort Hall, Idaho. 

Stump Creek was named after one of the partners who operated 
the famous Stump and White Salt Works about 2 or 2Vi miles 
on up Stump Creek from this point. The salt was secured by 
dipping the salt water from the salt spring into the vats and the 
water was boiled off by a wood fire placed underneath. 

I have been told that they came in over this Trail very early in 
the spring, sometimes with many yokes of cattle, and stayed long 
enough to boil out the desired load. Most of this salt was hauled 
to Butte, Montana, where it was used in the refining process of 
recovering the silver which was quite extensive at Butte at that 

The salt springs on Stump Creek and those on Crow Creek 
gave way to the name of Salt River, inasmuch as there was a 
considerable amount of salt water which drained into the Salt 
River. These springs pass over rather deep leachs of solid rock 
salt that have been found -in this area. 

After the pioneers first settled in the Star Valley, considerable 
quantities of this salt was boiled and the proceeds from the sale 
of the same helped to augment their meager income. 

L. C. Bishop announced plans for 1958 Trek. 

Before the group disbanded, Mr. Bishop thanked the people 
for their fine spirit of cooperation and announced one last Trek 
to be held during the summer of 1958. 




August 10 and 11, 1957 

Cheyenne : 

Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Bishop 

Patricia Elmer 

George L. Christopulos 

Elaine Christopulos 

Louis Christopulos 

Colonel and Mrs. A. R. Boyack 


Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Marsolf 


David Bishop 
Jay Bishop 
Jack and Jane Booth 
W. L. Marion 
Jules Farlow 
Ivan J. Liechty 

Atlantic City, Wyo. 

James H. Carpenter 


Mr. and Mrs. Dan Linderman 

S V* 


Courtesy George Christopulos 
At Grave of Elizabeth Paul. 



Carol Linderman 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Linderman 

Julius Luoma 
O. W. Linderman 


Mr. and Mrs. Lester Bagley 
Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Call 
Joe Linford 
Delos Anderson 


Mr. and Mrs. Joseph May 
Albert Sims 
Lyle Hildebrand 
Elizabeth Hildebrand 
Jeneva Hildebrand 
Ann Hildebrand 
Fred Hildebrand 

Big Piney 

Helen Tanner 

John Tanner 

Dick Tanner 

Francis W. Tanner 

Mr. and Mrs. John C. Budd 

Mr. and Mrs. Joe L. Budd 

Nancy Budd 

Mary K. Budd 

Paul N. Scherbel 

Green River: 

Mr. and Mrs. George T. Reynolds 
Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Evers 

Bridgeport, Nebraska 

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Henderson 

Chadron, Nebraska 

Dr. and Mrs. W. T. Miller 

San Mateo, California 
Carl W. Robertson 

Wyommg Mcliaeological J^otes 


By The Wyoming Archaeological Society* 


The archaeological investigation of the famed Medicine Wheel 
was undertaken with some trepidation because of two conditions 
imposed upon the operation. 

First, the excavation permit from the Forest Service contained 
the express restriction that no stones of the structure were to be 

Second, the site had been badly disturbed by souvenir hunters 
since its discovery in the late 1880's. The extent of this disturb- 
ance was crucial in interpreting the results of the investigation, 
and a complete historical search had to be undertaken. 

Briefly, the history of the Wheel is this: It was discovered in 
the 1880's, was visited periodically by hunters, prospectors, stock- 
men, and parties of dudes for many years. In 1902 the site was 
visited by S. C. Simms of the Field Museum, who published a 
short article in the American Anthropologist (1). The visit was 
rather hurried, and the article was, as a result, inaccurate. In 
1917, the Forest Service made a map of the structure, which is 
referred to as the Stockwell map. In 1922, Dr. George Bird 
Grinnell visited the site and made a rather detailed report of its 
general appearance in the American Anthropologist. No excavat- 
ing was done. When a road was built into the region in 1935, 
the Forest Service built a fence to protect the site. The road was 
extended to the actual site during August of 1958 while the 
investigation was under way. 

It should be mentioned that the Medicine Wheel is not a wheel, 
and its relation to "medicine" ceremonies is not known, but the 
name is well established historically, and will be used here. 


Location: The Medicine Wheel is located in the northwest portion 
of the Big Horn Mountains in north central Wyoming at 45°49' 
north latitude and 107° 54' west longitude. It lies on the western 
shoulder of Medicine Mountain overlooking the Big Horn Basin. 

* Paper given at Lincoln, Nebraska, November, 1958, at the 16th Annual 
Plains Conference for Archaeology. 



The elevation is about 9642 feet. The site is reached by a well- 
marked road from Wyoming Highway 14. 

Geology: The ridge on which the structure lies is composed of 
highly fossiliferous Ordovician limestone. The stone is irregularly 
laminar, and contains large numbers of chert nodules of blocky 
fracture. The limestone is soft, and one of the distinctive features 
of the formation is the large fissures that occur in the area. These 
fissures are often from two to four feet wide and up to a hundred 
feet or more deep. It is possible that these features may have 
contributed to location of ceremonial activities in this particular 
area through some supernatural association. 

The thin layer of soil on the ridge is in a delicate equilibrium 
between erosional and formative processes. A topsoil layer of 
about six inches thickness clings in all but a few places. The 
subsoil is a limey material, fine near the top, and pebbly near the 
bottom, derived directly from the bedrock. 

No stone suitable for artifacts occurs in the immediate area. 
Ecology: At the present time, the area abounds in large and small 
game animals, game birds, fish, and several types of edible plants 
including berries, edible roots and fungi. Springs and creeks 
nearby furnish good water. 

The Medicine Wheel: The Wheel lies on ground that slopes gently 
away from the precipitous edge of the ridge on which it lies. The 
Wheel (Fig. 1) is a nearly circular pattern of rock on the surface 
of the ground, and is about 75 feet in diameter. At the center of 
the circle is a stone-walled cairn about twelve feet in outside 
diameter and seven feet inside diameter. This cairn has an open- 
ing in the north side, and is built to about two feet in height. Its 
original height was probably not much greater. From this central 
cairn 28 radial Unes go to the peripheral circle. Around the 
periphery are located six other cairns. These are of about the 
same height as the central cairn, but vary somewhat in size. All 

Figure L 

Courtesy Wyoming Archaeological Society 
The Medicine Wheel as it appears today. 


probably had an opening when first built. Five of these cairns 
touch the peripheral circle, but one lies about ten feet outside the 
circle on an extension of one the radial lines. The openings of 
four of the cairns face the center of the circle, while one opens 
away from the center toward the east, and one opens tangentially 
to the circle toward the north. The peripheral cairns are of 
approximately the size to hold a sitting person. 
Other Structures: Early reports (1) (2) mention several structures 
in the immediate vicinity of the Wheel, but the Society was unable 
to definitely locate any of these. Several rings occur on the ridge, 
and several other structures were found, but their ages are ques- 
tionable. Some of them obviously date from the tourist period. 
All structures were mapped, but no determination of origin could 
be made in most cases. 


A map of the general area was first made to help organize sub- 
sequent work. A detailed topographic map of the Wheel area 
was then made. 

Many artifacts have been found on the surface of the ridge, and 
it was decided that two exploratory trenches would be dug apart 
from the Wheel in order to determine a "normal background" of 
artifact types and frequencies. Two trenches, each 1 00 feet long, 
were dug northwest of the Wheel. Two trenches revealed that only 
the topmost layer of dirt yielded artifacts, and that no stratigraphy 
was likely to be found. The thin topsoil layer had no doubt been 
eroded and replaced many times, and all the artifacts that it con- 
tained were completely mixed. In two places, the topsoil appeared 
to deepen, and three five-foot squares were dug to determine if 
any stratigraphy could be found, but none was. 

While the last two of the squares were being dug, a detailed map 
of the Medicine Wheel structure was started. When part of the 
mapping was complete, the digging crews moved into the mapped 
areas and began the excavation of the soil between the radial lines 
of stone and in the interior of the cairns. 

Some dendrochronologically datable wood was found during the 
excavation, so the last phase of the work consisted in collecting 
living and standing dead wood specimens from which a master 
chart could be made. 


Development of the two exploratory trenches northwest of the 
Wheel included removal and screening of the top layer. It was 
originally intended to remove a second layer, composed of subsoil, 
to bedrock in each trench, but sporadic testing showed that deeper 
material was completely sterile. Since the topsoil was disturbed 
by erosional and organic forces, no stratigraphic separation could 
be made in the area which produced the artifacts. The range of 



types found seems to indicate a rather long period of intermittent 
occupation, however. 

Two fire pits were found in the trenches. Neither yielded arti- 
facts and only one yielded datable carbon. The date would be of 
little value however, since the relative age of the firepit is unknown. 

Near the end of the trench system, on the west, was a group of 
stones weathered deeply into the soil. Whether these were the 
rmnants of an early structure could not be determined, but the 
area was excavated. No difference in frequency or types of 
artifacts was discovered upon comparison with the yield from the 


As the final exploratory work was being done, the mapping of 
the Wheel was started, using a portable grid system. (Fig. 2) 
The grid consisted of a sixteen foot square steel framework with 
lines stretched across at it two foot intervals in both directions. 


Nk '/'¥' .■#:.! '' ' •^■' ..• :.^^^^- 


C curtesy Wyoming Archaeological Society 
Figure 2. Detailed map of the structure of the Wheel. 


Sixteen foot squares were surveyed over the Wheel, the grid layed 
on each square in turn, and the outlines of the stones carefully 
drawn on coordinate paper in positions corresponding to the grid 

The spaces between the radial lines were called segments, and 
were numbered from 1 to 28 from north, as were the radial lines 
themselves. The cairns were numbered from 1 to 6 from north 
in the same clockwise direction. 

Cross sections of the Wheel and each of the cairns were drawn 

The detailed mapping revealed several interesting things about 
the structure. The structure is not circular, but rather irregular. 
The radial lines were not straight nor were they evenly spaced. 
The cairns were irregular in shape and spacing as well. The often 
expressed hypothesis that the radial lines were aligned with topo- 
graphic or astronomical features is made less tenable by their 
crookedness. It would seem that lines formed by sighting at an 
object would be much straighter. 

During the mapping, several surface finds were made, including 
several colored bone objects of unknown use, two potsherds, and 
some stone artifacts. The bone objects appeared to be made of 
the long bones of some animal of about the size of deer. The 
bones were very smooth on the convex surfaces, and bore red, 
green, pink and blue-green stains. Aside from the stains, the frag- 
ments were a uniform chalky white. None of the fragments was 
as large as an inch in greatest dimension, and no original form or 
function could be deduced. 


Segment Number One was excavated first. The digging pro- 
ceeded from the periphery toward the center. Several square feet 
in the outer end were dug well into the subsoil until it became clear 
that the same pattern of sterility in the lower layer obtained in the 
Wheel as in the exploratory areas. Subsequently only the top 
layer was removed. Stone artifacts found in the interior of the 
Wheel demonstrated no differences from those found in the 
exterior exploratory work, either as to type or frequency. 

The interior of the central cairn was excavated next. Three 
distinct layers appeared in the soil here. The usual topsoil layer 
was about six inches thick. Beneath this was a lighter colored 
layer about eight inches thick, distinguished from the subsoil by a 
lighter color, and the presence of some organice materials. The 
subsoil layer below this had the usual light color, but was finer 
grained than the corresponding layer elsewhere. 

The top layer in the central cairn showed signs of limited dig- 
ging, but this did not appear to have penetrated the second layer. 
The second layer yielded some ceramic trade beads, a perforated 
shell bead, and a potsherd. The lower layer yielded some rotted 



wood fragments, and the distal end of a tibiotarsal from either an 
elk or a bison. 

The soil depth here was about 25 inches, and penetrated into a 
depression in the bedrock. The depression appeared to have been 
formed by the removal of fragments of the slabby bedrock to make 
a roughly conical pit. The evidence indicated that this must have 
been done at about the time of construction of the central cairn. 

Excavation of the other cairns yielded little except in the cases 
of Cairns Two and Six. Number Two yielded three artifacts. 
Number Six yielded datable wood. 

Cairn Six was filled with a wild currant bush before excavation. 
When the bush was removed, a layer of about seven inches of leafy 
material was met. Upon removal of this material, a piece of wood 
(Fig. 3) about three inches in diameter was exposed. The wood 
appeared to be part of a curved limb or small trunk. Both ends 
extended into the soil. Excavation proceeded very carefully, and 
it was soon revealed that both ends of the wood were firmly 
embedded in the rock structure of the cairn. One end was em- 
bedded in the soil beneath the lowest course of stone, and extended 
a distance of about fourteen inches into the region under the wall. 
It was solidly held in place by the weight of the stone above it. 
(Fig. 4) The other end was held between the lowest course and 

Courtesy Wyoming Archaeological Society 

Figure 3. Wood specimen in Cairn 6 
from which tree ring dating was made. 

Figure 4. 
Close-up view of Figure 3. 


the second course of stone. It extended into the wall a distance 
for perhaps twelve inches. The manner of engagement showed 
conclusively that the wood had been incorporated in the cairn at 
the time of its construction. 

Further excavation revealed two more pieces of wood in place 
in Number Six cairn. Samples were collected from all these, and 
also from the many other pieces of wood lying on and among the 
rocks of the Medicine Wheel. 


Wood samples were collected from fourteen trees living near the 
Medicine Wheel, and from several dead trees as well. A master 
chart was constructed from these samples, and the charts of the 
samples from Cairn Six were compared. The samples correlated 
clearly, and the date of death of the most recent piece proved to 
be 1760. The others were within 20 years of this date. Since 
the wood was probably picked up as deadfall, the Wheel was prob- 
ably built several years after this date. 


The dendrochronology showed the wood in Cairn Six was of 
comparatively recent origin. It seems probable that the Wheel 
was recent in origin as well. Trade beads found in the central 
cairn tend to bear this out, but are in themselves inconclusive, of 
course. Stone artifacts typical of the Early Middle period were 
found in and near the Wheel area, indicating that many early 
people had been in the region before the Wheel was constructed. 

The date produced for the Wheel makes it almost historical, and 
it seems that there should be legends among the Indians of the 
area which might relate to it. There are indeed (2), but they 
differ widely. There are similar structures in the area, and perhaps 
further investigation will develop further information. A very 
similar structure lies at the mouth of the Big Horn Canyon near 
old Fort C. F. Smith, and there are others in Montana and 
Canada, (3), (4), (5), (6). Dating results seem to agree with 
those found by the Glenbow Foundation (private communication 
from Richard G. Forbis) for Canadian monuments. The term 
monument is suggested by the findings of Kehoe (4), (5) and (6), 
and Dempsey ( 3 ) , who have found some of these structures to be 
monuments to famous chiefs. 

( 1 ) Simms, S. C, Am. Anthrop., vol. 5, no. 1, N. S., p. 107, Jan-Mar, 1903. 

(2) Grinnell, G. B., Am Anthrop., vol. 24, N. S., p. 299, 1922. 

(3) Dempsey, Hugh A.; Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 
Vol. 46, No. 6, June 1956 

(4) Kehoe, Thomas F.; American Anthropologist, 60, 1958 

(5) Kehoe, Thomas F., and Alice B.; Alberta Historical Review Volume 5, 
No. 4, 1957. 

(6) Kehoe, Thomas F.; Journ. Wash. Ac. Sciences, Vol. 44, No. 5, 1954. 



By L. C. Steege 

Have you ever dreamed of the past and wondered about the 
ancient inhabitants of our country? Who were these people? 
How did they Uve? Where did they come from and where did 
they go? 

The State of Wyoming is located in a region known to archaeol- 
ogists as the northern Plains. Through the medium of archaeology 
much information has been gathered and compiled which has given 
us a rather complex picture of the area's first inhabitants. Al- 
though much of the evidence has come from outside our borders, 
many of the characteristic artifacts are displayed from surface 
collections which proves the existence of these people in Wyoming 

The exact date of man's entry into the New World is not known. 
Evidence suggests that he may have been here for 20,000 years. 
No evidence of any great antiquity has been found in Wyoming 
which tells us that man has been in this region for more than 
10,000 years. Anthropologists will agree that man's origin un- 
doubtedly is in the Old World where he has existed for thousands 
of years. No skeletal remains have ever been found in the New 
World which s^uggests anything but "homo sapiens" or modern 
man. The Bering Straits appear to be the only logical route by 
which man made his entry into the New World from the Old. 

A framework in which archaeological evidence from the north- 
ern Plains is classified has been tentatively divided into four major 
time periods. These are the "Early Prehistoric Period, Middle 
Prehistoric Period, Late Prehistoric Period and the Historic 

The Early Prehistoric Period 
(Pre-4000 B.C.) 

After the ice sheets from the last Glacial Stage had receded 
northward, nomadic groups of hunters appeared on the northern 
Plains. Pleistocene mammals such as the mammoth, bison and 
camels formed a major portion of the diets of these people. It is 
quite possible that these people may have been a contributing 
factor towards causing the extinction of these animals. 

These hunters made extensive use of the atlatl or spear thrower. 
They fashioned highly stylized projectile points of stone to tip 
their darts and spears. Many of these points have been found 
with the skeletal remains of the now extinct animals which these 
people hunted and killed. 

To the south in New Mexico, stylized stone projectile points 
were found associated with prehistoric animal remains in a cave. 
Nineteen examples of these distinctive projectile points were found. 


These points are characterized by an inset on one edge only which 
forms a single shoulder. These have been given the name, "Sandia 
Points". Sandia points have turned up in other sites in New 
Mexico. Some have been found as far north as Alberta and 
Saskatchewan. They are rarely found in Wyoming. Sandia points 
have an antiquity of 15,000 to 20,000 years and are presently 
considered to be the oldest known points in North America. 

Another styhzed projectile point is named "Clovis Fluted" from 
having been first discovered near Clovis, New Mexico. Clovis 
points have been found associated with mammoth remains in many 
different areas through the Plains. These are lanceolate type 
points which are quite heavy and characterized by channels or 
flutes produced by the removal of a series of longitudinal flakes 
from each face. These points have an antiquity of 10,000 to 
15,000 years. Although not too common, these points have been 
found in Wyoming. 

A fluted point which has been found throughout Wyoming is 
known as the "Folsom" point. This point appears to have a wide 
range of distribution throughout the eastern slope of the Rocky 
Mountains. Folsom points are radically different from most 
types found in North America. They have no close similarities 
to any points found in the Old World. Folsom points are smaller 
than Clovis points and have two ear-like projections extending 
from the base. The flute or groove is a result of the removal of 
one longitudinal flake from each face. In cross section this gives 
the Folsom point a hollow ground appearance. An ancient camp- 
site located on the Colorado-Wyoming border just north of Fort 
Collins revealed many tools and implements as well as these fluted 
points which makes up the Folsom complex. Associated with 
these tools and points were the skeletal remains of prehistoric 
bison and camels. Folsom points have an antiquity of 9,000 to 
1 1 ,000 years. 

A point which is similar to the Folsom but is thin and not fluted 
is known as a "Midland" point. These also have ear-like projec- 
tions extending from a concave base. These unfluted points have 
been found in the same site as the Folsom. Midland points have 
approximately the same antiquity as the Folsom points. 

"Plainview" points resemble the Clovis types but are not fluted. 
These points are commonly called "Yuma", a term that is being 
abandoned by most authorities since it is too broad a category 
for any particular classification. In the Plainview site, the remains 
of nearly one hundred extinct bison were found. In this same 
deposit the stylized Plainview points were also found. A carbon 
14 sample produced an approximate date of 9,000. Plainview 
points are widely distributed throughout the Plains from Mexico 
to Alaska. 

The "Cody Complex" artifacts which derive their name from 
the "Horner" site located near Cody, Wyoming, deal with three 


different stylized types. The first is known as the "Scottsbluff" 
type which is a shouldered projectile point with a broad stem. 
The edges are essentially parallel and the faces bear horizontal 
flake scars. "Eden" types resemble the Scottsbluff points but are 
considerably narrower in relation to their length. Eden points 
are shouldered also but invariably the shouldering is a direct 
result of basal edge grinding. 

There are two variants of Eden points which are identified by 
the flaking technique. They are either collaterally or transversely 

The third artifact belonging to the Cody Complex is the "Cody 
Knife". This is a transverse blade, shouldered on one side, usually 
having a parallel sided base. Carbon 14 obtained from charcoal 
in the Horner site revealed a date of nearly 7,000 years. 

Although the same people used both the Scottsbluff and the 
Eden types of points, occasionally there appears to have been 
some groups who used only the Scottsbluff types. This type is 
more widely distributed and is found in many parts of North 
America. The Eden types have been limited primarily to the 
northern and central Plains. 

Widely distributed throughout the Plains is a long, narrow and 
thin lanceolate point with a narrow concave base which has been 
named "Angostura". The flaking is fine and the parallel flake 
scars are usually directed obliquely across the face of the blade. 
Basal thinning and grinding may be present. A charcoal sample 
taken from a zone in which Angostura points were found in 
situ gave an approximate date of 9,000. 

Points with forms similar to Angostura are named "Agate 
Basin". This type of projectile point was first found in east- 
central Wyoming. The points are long and slender. The bases 
are straight or convex. The flaking is always of the horizontal 
type with a fine marginal retouch. Basal thinning is usually 
absent. Some points are double pointed and resemble a laurel 
leaf. No date is available for this type at present. 

A site near Laramie, Wyoming in which a distinct type of 
projectile point was found associated with bones of an extinct 
bison, "bison occidentalis", has been named the "Jimmie Allen 
Site", in honor of the man who discovered it. Allen points are 
unnotched lanceolate forms with deeply concave bases and well 
rounded corners. Bases and basal edges are ground which causes 
a slight constriction of the lower third of the point. Fine oblique 
flake scars are parallel across the face of the blade. The Allen 
site produced a carbon 14 date in the vicinity of 7,900. 

During the period of time from approximately 4,000 B.C. to 
2,000 B.C., nothing is known of any cultural development in the 
area. We do know that there was an Altithermal Period during 
this time in which there was a definite increase in aridity as well 
as warmth. It is quite possible that this climatic condition ren- 


dered this portion of the Plains unsuitable for habitation by both 
man and the big game animals which formed his main diet. 
Another theory suggests the possibility that cultural remains of 
this period have not been discovered to date. 

The Middle Prehistoric Period 
(2,000 B.C. to 500 A.D.) 

About 2,000 B.C. a few small scattered groups of people began 
drifting back into the Plains. At this time we have an entirely 
new and different type of inhabitants. The bison hunting nomads 
have disappeared and the area is now occupied by groups of 
peoples who are strongly oriented in their economy towards plant 
gathering and small animal hunting with little or no emphasis on 
big game hunting until later in the period. Through investigations 
of numerous stratigraphically superimposed levels in Wyoming and 
adjacent areas, we have been able to piece together considerable 
evidence concerning the lives of these gatherers. Some of the 
more notable investigations were made at Signal Butte, near Scotts- 
bluff, Nebraska; Pictograph Cave, near Billings, Montana; the 
McKean Site in Crook County, Wyoming; the Shoshone Basin in 
central Wyoming, and recent research in the Glendo Reservoir 
area. In many levels, the most notable similarities are seen in 
the projectile point types. No pottery has ever been found in any 
of the Middle Period levels. The Early Prehistoric Period was 
also pre-ceramic. 

As far as it is known, these early Middle Prehistoric people 
were not agriculturists. They did subsist on many different types 
of plants, roots and bulbs. Small rodents, frogs, grasshoppers and 
birds were other items of their diet. The presence of grinding 
tools, the mano and metate, suggests that plants were a ma;or 
part of their diets. Shelters consisted chiefly of wickiup types of 
structures. Some caves were utilized if they could be found in 
ideal locations near streams. 

As these peoples progressed through the centuries, they devel- 
oped more of a trend towards big game animal hunting. Bison 
bones are present in the upper levels of stratified campsites. 
Projectile points show finer workmanship. Bison traps have 
definitely been associated with this horizon. The present existing 
type of bison, "bison bison", has taken the place of the now extinct 
forms of the previous Early Prehistoric Period. 

The bison trapping technique consisted of stampeding large 
herds of bison over a cliff which would either kill them or injure 
them to such an extent that they could easily be taken. The 
presence of many articulated skeletons in these traps suggests 
that more animals were killed than were utilized. This type of 
hunting was also practiced during the Late Prehistoric Period. 

The presence of large quantities of Unio shells in the sites along 


some of the larger streams proves that shellfish also furnished a 
portion of food for the Middle Prehistoric Period people. 

One of the earliest horizons of the Middle Prehistoric Period is 
present at Signal Butte I and the lower level at the McKean Site. 
These levels have an antiquity of around 3,500 years. The 
stylized artifacts are the projectile points. These vary around a 
single norm. The simplest form is a lanceolate shaped blade 
with a deep concave base and parallel basal edges. Another type 
is slightly shouldered which forms a scarcely perceptible stem. 
The bases of these types are still sharply concave and the basal 
edges are parallel. The third variant is a specimen with a pro- 
nounced shouldering caused by a slight lateral notch. Here again 
the base is deeply concave and the proximal edges are nearly paral- 
lel. The base and basal edges are sharp and show no attempt at 

The later Middle Prehistoric Period points deviate somewhat 
from the earlier points. The style of this horizon centers around a 
corner notched variety. These vary from a large shallow corner 
notch which forms a slightly expanded base which may be either 
concave, convex or straight, to a deep narrow corner notch which 
forms a pronounced barb and an expanding base. 

These types were in use until the bow was invented sometime 
about 500 A.D and the start of the Late Prehistoric Period. 

The Late Prehistoric Period 
(500 A.D. to 1800 A.D.) 

The invention of the bow brought about many changes in the 
mode of living for the Late Prehistoric Period inhabitants. More 
emphasis was now placed on big game animal hunting. Agricul- 
ture was lacking, but a goodly amount of plants, roots and bulbs 
were still playing an important part in the diets of these people. 
Skin tipis were gradually coming into use. These were transported 
by dog travois which in the later years was replaced by the horse 
travois. Ceramic industries were started sometime before horses 
made their appearance. Pottery making was not too extensive 
in the northern Plains. Very few archaeological sites in Wyoming 
produce any potsherds. 

With the introduction of the horse, bison hunting became much 
easier. A vast food supply was readily available for anyone wish- 
ing to tap the supply. 

In the Late Prehistoric Period, the stylization of the projectile 
point has again changed as it did during the previous two pre- 
historic periods. Since arrows were now projected by bows in 
lieu of the atlatl, a lighter tip or point was now a necessity. A 
small delicate projectile point with side or lateral notches took 
the place of the larger corner notched varieties. Some variants 
include a small corner notched point with a slightly convex base 
and a small notchless type which is triangular in shape. 


The Historic Period 
(Post 1800 A.D.) 

This period is almost self explanatory. A general influx of 
peoples from surrounding areas began gathering into Wyoming and 
the northern Plains when the horse-bison economy began to make 
available a vast, easily obtainable food supply. The westward 
movements of the white settlers also displaced some of the tribes 
from their earlier habitats. 

The stone projectile point gave way to the steel arrowhead. The 
steel arrowhead finally gave way to the gun. 

Tipi Rings 

Tipi rings or stone circles are prevalent throughout the northern 
Plains. The explanation, as repeatedly given by misinformed per- 
sons, refers to the stones as being placed around the base of a tipi 
to hold down the skin covering. When the tipi was pulled down, 
the stones were left in their natural circular design. Unfortunately 
this simple explanation cannot be accepted in most instances. 

Countless numbers of stone circles have been investigated in 
Montana and Alberta as well as in Wyoming. It is fairly conclu- 
sive that the greatest majority of these rings were never occupied. 
They are inconsistent in size as well as shape. In most cases they 
are found in the worst possible location for a campsite, on wind- 
swept, rocky hills away from water and fuel. Evidence of fires 
are nearly always lacking as well as packed floors within the 
circles. Artifacts are seldom found in a stone ring site. 

About 500 stone rings were included in the Glendo reservoir 
investigations. Evidence suggests Middle Prehistoric Period con- 
struction and a problematical use. 

End Scrapers 

One interesting type of stylized stone artifact known as a "plano- 
convex snub-nosed end scraper" appears in all horizons from the 
Early Prehistoric Period through the Historic Period in an un- 
changed form. These implements were used by the thousands and 
have been found in all archaeological sites in all levels throughout 


The picture of the earliest inhabitants of the northern Plains is 
one of small groups of nomads who hunted and killed a prehistoric 
bison for their main source of food supply. The excellence of the 
style and flaking of their projectile points reveals the highest peak 
of flint workmanship in North America — truly an artist in stone 
flaking. The mystery of the disappearance of these people has 
never been solved. 


The early Middle Period suggests famine -hunger -starvation. 
Small groups of families are constantly foraging and subsisting on 
anything that might be edible. The occurrence of the mano and 
metate indicates a vegetarian type of diet. A degeneration in flint 
workmanship is visible since the role of hunting is in the minority. 

The association of bison bones and bison traps in later horizons 
reveals an upward trend in a big game hunting economy coupled 
with the original vegetarian type of diet. Hunting pressure has 
produced finer flint workmanship. The predominate projectile 
point type is the corner notched variety. 

The Late Period produced some radical changes in the living 
habits of the people. The bow was invented. Ceramic industries 
were started. Skin covered tipis were in use for shelters. The 
projectile point has changed to a delicate, finely chipped point 
with lateral notches. While there is no evidence available of a 
transitional period or overlap between the Early and Middle Pre- 
historic Periods, there is a definite overlap between the Middle 
and the Late Prehistoric Periods. 

The picture of the final Historic Period is one of well mounted 
and mobile units. These people did excellent skin tanning and 
little or no work in stone. A strong war complex is present, ffl 

Perhaps the stone age peoples of North America can also be 
summed up in words by Lucretius in his poem, "De Rerum 
Natura". Lucretius was born in 95 B.C. This poem was com- 
pleted about 53 B.C. 

De Rerum Natura 

Things throughout proceed 
In firm, undevious order, and maintain, 
To nature true, their fixt generic stamp. 

Yet man's first sons, as o'er the fields they trod, 
Reared from the hardy earth, were hardier far; 
Strong built with ampler bones, with muscles nerved 
Broad and substantial; to the power of heat, 
Of cold, of varying viands, and disease. 
Each hour superior; the wild lives of beasts 
Leading, while many a luster o'er them rolled. 
Nor crooked plow-shares knew they, nor to drive. 
Deep through the soil, the rich returning spade; 
Nor how the tender seedling to replant, 
Nor from the fruit tree prune the withered branch. 

Nor knew they yet the crackling blaze t'excite, 
Or clothe their limbs with furs, or savage hides. 
But groves concealed them, woods, and hollow hills; 
And, when rude rains, or bitter blasts o'erpowered. 
Low bushy shrubs their squalid members wrapped. 


And in their keen rapidity of hand 
And foot confiding, oft the savage train 
With missile stones they hunted, or the force 
Of clubs enormous; many a tribe they felled, 
Yet some in caves shunned, cautious; where at night, 
Thronged they, like bristly swine; their naked limbs 
With herbs and leaves entwining. Nought of fear 
urged them to quit the darkness, and recall, 
With clamorous cries, the sunshine and the day: 
But sound they sunk in deep, oblivious sleep, 
• Till o'er the mountains blushed the roseate dawn. 

This ne'er distressed them, but the fear alone 
Some ruthless monster might their dreams molest, 
The foamy boar, or lion, from their caves 
Drive them agast beneath the midnight shade, 
And seize their leaf-wrought couches for themselves. 

Yet then scarce more of mortal race than now 
Left the sweet lustre of the liquid day. 
Some doubtless, oft the prowling monsters gaunt 
Grasped in their jaws, abrupt; whence, through the groves, 
The woods, the mountains, they vociferous groaned. 
Destined thus living to a living tomb. 

Yet when, at length, rude huts they first devised, 
and fires, and garments; and, in union sweet, 
Man wedded woman, the pure joys indulged 
Of chaste connubial love, and children rose. 
The rough barbarians softened. The warm hearth 
Their frames so melted they no more could bear. 
As erst, th' uncovered skies; the nuptial bed 
Broke their wild vigor, and the fond caress 
Of prattling children from the bosom chased 
Their stern ferocious manners. 

WyomiHg State Mistorical Society 


3105 Wilshire Blvd. 
Los Angeles, Calif. 
March 3rd, 1959 

To the Officers and Members 
Wyoming State Historical Society 
Lola M. Homsher, Executive Secretary 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 

Greetings, - 

As many of you know, my health has been not too good since 
early last November and am writing this from the above address, 
the office of my son to assure you all that I am thinking of many 
of you and plan to be back in Wyoming around May 1st and on 
the job. 

Inasmuch as weather and travel generally would reduce activities 
anyway, I plan to spend the balance of the winter out here in this 
easy climate. Too, I am with members of my family out here, 
therefore, not so lonesome. 

When I get back home in Rawlins I hope to be able to dig into 
plans and activities of our Wyoming Historical Society I have 
in mind several areas where opportunities for preservation of 
Historical Sites and other important facts relating to the more 
distant past in Wyoming as the most important. 

I was sorry to be so indisposed that I could not be present at 
the meeting of the Executive Committee in January, but I am sure 
that everyone understands the circumstances. I am very appre- 
ciative of the splendid manner in which everyone has cooperated. 

Hope to see many of you around May 1 st and thereafter. 

Very sincerely yours, 

A. H. MacDougall - President 

Mook Keviews 

The Cowboy at Work. By Fay E. Ward. (N. Y. : Hastings House 
Publ., Inc., 1958. lUus. index. 289 pp. $8.50.) 

Fay E. Ward has given us a book which has long been needed. 
In it he treats on all subjects relating to the life and work of a 
cowboy, a subject of which many people are completely ignorant. 
The cowboy was a major factor in the settlement of the West 
where he helped to stock the range with cattle as well as assist in 
preserving peace. 

This book is an authoritative reference work for all interested 
in the work of a cowhand, and it has a dual purpose. First, it 
describes a cowboy's work. Second, it is full of information and 
help for a young man who might wish to prepare himself for the 
occupation of a cowboy. It contains a fine description of a cow- 
boy's work, at the ranch and on the range, in all its many details 
and phases, with no omissions. People in all walks of life will 
enjoy reading the book to gain a better understanding of how 
things are done on a ranch. For a boy who might be interested in 
becoming a cowboy, it will help him to know what equipment to 
buy and to learn how to make much of the equipment which he 
will use in his everyday life. 

Ward has an exact way of presenting a picture of the cowboy's 
work without a fault. He is a cowboy of the old school who has 
the "know how" and experience to go into detail on every subject 
relating to the cowboy. This reviewer, being an old cowboy him- 
self, may have had a few different ways of doing things from 
Ward's methods, but no one could go far wrong by following the 
methods he describes here. 

Fay E. Ward furnishes a clear picture of the range from his 
personal view, and his material has not been kicked around in 
publication to cheapen it. The illustrations, drawn by the author, 
are profuse and explicit, and he knows animals and how to draw 
them in a flattering manner. 

The Cowboy at Work covers all phases of ranch life and work 
on the range: types of animals, ranch and roundup work and 
personnel, branding, roping, working wild stock, kinds of equip- 
ment and their uses including bridles, bits, saddles, tapaderos, 
chaparreras, spurs, boots, hats, cowboy garb and jewelry, working 
rawhide and leather, rope knots, and guns and equipment. 

This book is one which no one could have written without 
having had the actual experience and without having performed 
the duties of a cowboy. Fay Ward is not only an interesting writer 
but a top hand at any job the boss assigned to him. 

Laramie, Wyoming A. S. Gillespie 


The Humour of the American Cowboy. By Stan Hoig. (Cald- 
well, Idaho, The Caxton Printers, Ltd. 1958. Illus 193 pp. 

This volume is a collection of tall tales, anecdotes, yarns, jokes, 
etc., pertaining to the American cowboy and his humour, which is 
a direct reflection of the manners and mores of the country within 
which he abounded. The author, who was born and raised in the 
Oklahoma area through which the Chisholm Trail passed and lived 
a great number of his years among the cowboys concerning whom 
he writes, has made a complete study of the American cowboy 
and the environment which made him what he was. 

The American cowboy was a product of his times, old fashioned 
in some of his ideals, but a thorough going American with a 
distinct brand of humour, appreciation for living, dedication for the 
type of living which he enjoyed thoroughly and with a distinct 
sense of well being in the freedom which was his. His ability to 
laugh the hardest when the going was tough, made him face dan- 
gers which the average individual would have shirked without risk 
to his own conscience. 

Because of the type of existence which he enjoyed thoroughly, 
the American cowboy and his associates were thrown on their 
own resources to find the type of entertainment suitable for their 
age and surroundings during the periods of relaxation, which were 
seldom and only during the cold winter months or in the long 
evenings before the campfires. To the cowboy, humour was a 
real and living thing. It expressed his ideas, thoughts and fondness 
for the West, to make everyone from tenderfoot to old timer fit 
into his mold and scheme of living. 

Hoig's volume tends to portray all facets of the American cow- 
boy humour, from fact to fiction and the half gray, half black 
versions of fact and fancy. Each of the ten chapters is broken 
down to relate certain phases of the cowboy's humour and the 
numerous ways in which they occurred. Many of the yarns are 
the end product of the cowboy's work on the range, in camp or 
on the ranch. They were the things he knew best and could 
manufacture the best "windies" out of an every day occurrence 
so as make fiction seem like fact and sometimes even made fact 
appear to be fiction. 

The cowboy appeared to be at his best when he was on his best 
behavior and attempting to impress his boss, his best girl or a 
total stranger. Many of the anecdotes are based upon fact with 
just a slight twist which leaves the listener in a believing state of 
mind, which is just the state that the cowboy desired. The cowboy 
was a natural storyteller. His vocabulary was of the range, conse- 
quently his best medium for self expression. The themes for his 
countless tales were based upon the facts of his everyday type of 


living, his generosity to friends, his sense of justice and his adven- 
turous spirit. 

Many of the tales related in this volume have been culled from 
outstanding Western books and the illustrations are by Nicholas 
Eggenhofer, one of America's foremost Western painters This 
volume should be considered for the library of all who are inter- 
ested and dedicated to the American cowboy. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming Leo I. Herman 

John Hunton's Diary, Volumes 1 and 2, with introductory para- 
graphs and comments by L. G. (Pat) Flannery. (Pubhshed 
by the Guide-Review, Lingle, Wyoming. Vol. 1, 1873-75, 
$3.00. Vol. 2, 1876-77, $5.00.) 

L. G. (Pat) Flannery came to Wyoming in 1920. His first 
home here was what is known as the "John Hunton House" on 
the Fort Laramie National Monument. Here he was privileged 
to become well acquainted with his neighbor, John Hunton, author 
of the diaries he is now editing, and he developed a strong affection 
and regard for Hunton and his wife Blanche. 

It was Hunton who first aroused Flannery's interest in Wyo- 
ming's fascinating history, and after Hunton had lost his eyesight, 
he aided him in the writing of some of his memoirs which were 
published in Flannery's own Goshen News and in other Wyoming 
newspapers, including John Charles Thompson's column in the 
Cheyenne Tribune, "In Old Wyoming." 

Upon Mr. Hunton's death, he learned that he had inherited his 
diaries, more than 50 volumes, covering a period from 1873 to 
the late 1920's. The diaries have been appearing in serial form in 
the Lingle Guide-Review. Fortunately, Mr. Flannery has now 
issued these, as far as he has been able to make them ready, in 
these two volumes. 

Pat writes well and by his introductory remarks and comments 
has added materially to the preservation of many incidents of 
historical significance to the old West and especially to the State 
of Wyoming. 

John Hunton was born at Madison Court House, Virginia, 
January 18, 1839. He served in the Confederate Army during the 
Civil War. In the spring of 1867 he started west via St. Louis 
and Glassgow to Nebraska City. From there he whacked bulls 
to Ft. Laramie where he worked in the Sutlers Store for some time. 
The winter of 1867-68 he shared a room with Jim Bridger the 
famous mountain man, trapper, scout and guide. 

From 1870 until 1873 when the first diary was kept Mr. Hunton 
was engaged in the freighting business and suppUed hay, beef, 
charcoal, lime and other commodities to Ft, Fetterman, Ft. Lara- 


mie, Ft. Phil Kearny, Ft. Reno, Ft. Steele, Ft. Smith and other 
military installations, freighting from Camp Carlin, Rock Creek 
and Medicine Bow on the Union Pacific R.R. 

The story of the life of John Hunton, as revealed by his diary 
from 1873 to and including 1875 in Volume 1 and 1876 to and 
including 1877 in Volume 2 with fascinating introductory para- 
graphs and comments by Pat Flannery, constitute a contribution 
to the history of that period that makes excellent reading for all 
those interested in Western Americana. 

These volumes are well documented and each contains a chron- 
ological index of all names mentioned in them. A few of the more 
prominent people mentioned are: James Bridger, James Bordeaux, 
General Crook, J. M. Carey, Charley Clay, William Cody, Caspar 
Collins, Crazy Horse George, Baptise Gamier (Little Bat), Frank 
Gruard, J. B. (Wild Bill) Hickok, Hiram B. Kelly, J. B. Kendrick, 
George Lathrop, Frank North, John Owens, Persimmon Bill, John 
(Portugee) Phillips, Baptise Pourier (Big Bat), Chief Red Cloud, 
Chief Sitting Bull, Major Thornburg, Russell Thorp, Sr., George 
Throstle, Luke Vorhees, R. S. Van Tassell, Chief Washakie and 
Brigham Young. 

In conclusion I will add that these volumes are worth many 
times their cost and should be on the bookshelves of every lover of 
western lore. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming L. C. Bishop 

Who Rush to Glory. By CUfford P. Westermeier. (Caldwell, 
Idaho: Caxton, 1958. Illus. 272 pp. $6.00). 
Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders of the Spanish-American War 

are familiar to virtually everyone who has read any American 
History. They constituted the First United States Volunteer Cav- 
alry Regiment. Comparatively unknown are the Second and Third 
United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiments. 

Professor Westermeier tells with a good deal of verve the history 
of these three "cowboy" regiments, the one so famous, the other 
two so obscure. The three outfits were properly called "cowboy" 
because they included more cowboys than anything else but they 
did include men from many other occupations. 

Roosevelt's Regiment was recruited in New Mexico, Arizona, 
and Oklahoma, with 15 students from Yale and Harvard and a 
sprinkling of other easterners thrown in. They trained briefly in 
San Antonio, Texas, before moving on to Tampa and Cuba. Their 
subsequent fame can be attributed to the remarkable qualities of 
their leader and to the fact that they actually got into combat and 
made a contribution to victory. 


Col. Jay L. Torrey of Wyoming's Big Horn Basin commanded 
the Second Regiment which was recruited mainly in Wyoming, 
with some help from Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. Col. 
Melvin Grigsby of South Dakota commanded the Third Regiment, 
and obtained his recruits from South Dakota, Montana, North 
Dakota, and Nebraska in that order. 

Torrey and Grigsby and their men never reached Cuba, never 
took part in combat. They suffered the same frustrations as did 
millions of American service men in World War I and World War 
II who were doomed to languish in training camps far from the 
fighting fronts. The Rough Riders had one advantage — the Span- 
ish-American War lasted only 115 days. 

Torrey's Regiment was organized at Cheyenne and then spent 
several months at Jacksonville, Florida before dispersal. Grigsby's 
Regiment was mustered in at Sioux Falls before being sent to 
Chicamauga Park, Georgia where they remained until after the 
end of the war. 

Torrey's Regiment had bad luck from the outset. Torrey spent 
entirely too much time searching Montana, Wyoming, and Colo- 
rado for suitable horses. As it turned out, Roosevelt left his 
horses at Tampa, and Torrey would probably have had to part 
with his horses, too, had he been sent to Cuba. En route to 
Jacksonville Torrey's Regiment suffered a tragic accident to 
Tupelo, Mississippi. The second section of the train plowed into 
the first section, killing five troopers and seriously injuring fifteen 
others. Torrey himself was laid up for weeks with badly bruised 

Life in Florida and Georgia was tedious for the Torrey and 
Grigsby men. Rain, heat and insects caused much suffering. 
Disease took many lives. The once-high morale evaporated. It's 
not surprising that most of the men wanted to get home as quickly 
as possible after peace was declared. 

The author draws heavily upon newspapers for his source 
materials. He also used several book-length accounts of Roose- 
velt's Rough Riders and one book-length study of Grigsby's Regi- 
ment. The book is well-documented and well written. 

University of Wyoming T. A. Larson 

The Great West, Edited, with Notes and Introduction, by Charles 
Neider. (New York: Coward-McCann, Inc. 1958. 457 pp. 
Illus. $11.50.) 

Charles Neider has compiled in The Great West one of the best 
anthologies of literature about the West which has appeared to 


Neider, an Easterner, acquired his concept of the West by 
hearsay and reading. His real introduction to the West occurred 
in 1952 when he drove across the United States to the West 
Coast. The impact of this great geographical region — from the 
Mississippi River to California — brought to him the realization 
that he must completely revise his opinions about the West. He 
found that one must experience the impact of the great open 
spaces of the West before one could know and understand this 
vast section of our country and the people in it. 

He began poking into the resources of Western libraries and 
found that they contain a gold mine for scholars and writers. He 
discovered that while the Western frontier may have closed phys- 
ically that its forces are still in operation, that Westerners have a 
sharper sense of democracy than have those in the older East, 
that in the West there is a looking forward to tomorrow, that there 
is greater freedom of living and greater fluidity in human relations. 

Western literature, he found, is a strange mixture of fact and 
legend which in some instances have so merged that they cannot 
be separated. This active process of myth-making was particularly 
active in the early days of its history, based largely upon the impact 
of great space and natural forces with which man had to contend. 

The selections which Editor Neider has included in this volume 
are designed help his readers gain an understanding and an 
appreciation of this great West. He does not claim that the 
volume is either comprehensive or definitive. While he has tried 
to emphasize excellence of literary style, he has subordinated style 
when documentary value was of first consideration. Westerners, 
as well as those unacquainted with the area, can gain much from 
a perusal of these pages, for Westerners are too familiar with 
and too close to the scene to be able to view the West with a 
detached view. 

The book is divided into three sections: I. Pathfinders, which 
includes excerpts of writings by explorers from Coronado to John 
Charles Fremont; II. Heroes and Villains, the stories of such per- 
sonalities as Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, General Custer, Buffalo Bill, 
Jesse James, Calamity Jane and Billy the Kid; III. Observers, in 
which are related the experiences and impressions of such Western 
travelers as Washington Irving, General Fremont, Francis Park- 
man, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling and 
Emerson Hough. 

The Great West is attractively illustrated with sketches from 
contemporary accounts and reproductions of paintings by such 
fine artists as Alfred Jacob Miller, Frederick Remington, George 
Catlin and Albert Bierstadt. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming Lola M. Homsher 


Clarence King, a biography by Thurman Wilkins. (New York: 
The Macmillan Company. 1958. 441 pp. bibl., index, illus. 


As a little girl, I read to tatters a dull-looking book called 
Hoofs and Claws. My favorite in the collection was a wonderful 
horse story, Kaweah's Run. Some twenty years later I happened 
on to Clarence King's Mountaineering in the Sierras, and to my 
delight, imbedded in its fascinating pages, I found again the story 
of Kameah's Run. Another twenty years passed and I spent the 
summer in the Yosemite Park Library where King's work in that 
region was constantly referred to. Later, in my own County 
Library, I discovered the seven great volumes of the King Survey. 
But these monuments to his scientific knowledge and industry still 
left the man, Clarence King, a mere name. 

Now, fifty seven years after King's death, Thurman Wilkins has 
published the first full-length biography. Also stemming from 
delighted reading of Mountaineering in the Sierras, Wilkins pur- 
sued his interest thru the years, gleaning information from hun- 
dreds of sources. The result is a fascinating study of a man who's 
early classical schooling soon gave way to interest in the newly 
estabhshed Scientific School at Yale. Calling him "Sheffield's 
greatest graduate", it was Prof. James Dana who urged him to 
join Josiah Whitney's California Survey. 

So King first saw Wyoming in 1863 when he joined a wagon 
train following the Overland Trail. A few years later he laid 
before Stanton, still Secretary of War, the value of a survey of the 
western regions, where fabulous mining resources were waiting 
development and where John Wesley Powell was already stressing 
the need for vast irrigation projects. King's political acumen 
(he had had the foresight to name a peak in California for a 
California senator) and the backing of such friends as John Hay 
and Henry Adams won Congressional approval and in 1867 he 
was designated Geologist in charge of the survey of an area 
stretching from California to the Laramie Plains. 

Particularly interesting to residents of this state are the chapters 
detailing his connection with the cattle industry, and his establish- 
ment of N. R. Davis, a former member of his survey party, on a 
ranch (Stonehenge) near Cheyenne. Later he sent Edgar Beecher 
(kinsman of Henry Ward Beecher) to learn the trade and establish 
further holdings in the general area. Bronson, who had been 
King's secretary during his arduous labors over Systematic Geol- 
ogy, the volume summarizing the work of his assistants and stating 
his conclusions and theoretical deductions, later eulogized his 
friend King in his book Reminiscences of a Ranchman. 

So Mr. Wilkins has portrayed a man whose promise as a writer 
was never fulfilled, whose great mining and cattle enterprises came 
to naught, but whose scientific accomplishments and capacity for 


great friendships raised him well above the ordinary. He has 
written of King's strange personal life with understanding and 
restraint. One of the most interesting biographies of the year, it 
is also important reading as a picture of a phase in the development 
of the West and another glimpse into early Wyoming history. 

Laramie, Wyoming Mrs. Neva Miller 

Great Basin Kingdom, An Economic History of the Latter-Day 
Saints, 1830-1900. By Leonard J. Arrington. (Cambridge: 
HarvardUniversity Press, 1958. Illus. 534 pp. $9.00). 

In this handsome volume. Dr. Arrington, who is a professor of 
economics at Utah State University, has turned out a masterpiece. 
Surely there is no comparable economic study of any part of the 
Rocky Mountain region. 

The work is thorough, exploiting a tremendous bulk of primary 
sources in historical collections from coast to coast — at several 
places in Utah, and also at the Bancroft Library, the Huntington 
Library, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the New 
York Pubhc Library, Yale University, and Harvard University. 
For 400 pages of text there are 100 pages of fine-print notes, 
references, and bibliographical comments. The author is not 
stretching it when he writes that many years of research have gone 
into the book. 

Dr. Arrington explains in the preface that the work is not an 
economic history of Utah but of the Latter-Day Saints: "The book 
is largely a study of Mormon concepts, and of the efforts of church 
leadership to develop an economy in harmony with those con- 
cepts." Non-Mormon activities are treated only incidentally; for 
example, there is only brief mention of what happened to Gentiles 
when Mormons boycotted them. 

The work is objective, analyzing church successes and failures 
with admirable impartiality. Usually enough data are assembled 
to make conclusions convincing. The wealth of dollars-and-cents 
details confirms what is pretty well known — the Mormons have 
always been great at preserving historical records. 

Among the topics which are given full and often fascinating 
treatment are the inter-play of Mormon and non-Mormon forces at 
the time of the California gold rush, the inter-action of the same 
forces when the transcontinental railway arrived, the handling of 
immigration, the great cooperative movement, the United Order 
of Enoch, and the Raid, or federal government action against the 
Mormons in the 1880's. 

The economic ideals of the Great Basin Kingdom are attributed 
to Puritan democratic theory and to ideas that were "in the air" 
in Pennsylvania and New York in the 1820's. Experiences of the 
Mormons in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois shaped the application 


of these ideals. Central planning and collective labor ideas turned 
out to be most appropriate for the Great Basin environment. 
Arrington argues effectively that Mormon institutions were "more 
typically early American" than- were the individualistic institutions 
of other Western frontiers. He sees 20th century national poMcy 
for the West coming around to Mormon principles of long-range 
planning, cooperation, and central direction. And even abroad, 
"The design of the Kingdom, once despised as backward, is now 
part of the heritage which Americans are passing on to govern- 
ments and peoples in many parts of the world." 

While the focus throughout is on economic history, much light 
falls on other aspects of Mormon history. And the narrative is so 
interesting that a non-Mormon limited to one volume on the his- 
tory of the Mormons would be smart to make this his volume. 
Rarely does a book-buyer have a chance to get so much for his 

University of Wyoming T. A. Larson 

Black Robe Peacemaker Pierre De Smet by J. G. E. Hopkins. 
(P. J. Kenedy and Sons, New York. 1958. Index. 1 58 pp. 


Author Hopkins establishes reader-identity early in his book by 
introducing his young reading audience to the boy, Pierre Jean 
de Smet. An easy-to-love boy he is, too — heedless, daring, strong, 
fun-loving and unafraid. At the age of eleven Pierre Jean is a 
believable character, endearing, yet having his share of human 
frailties. When later in the book Pierre Jean becomes a Jesuit 
Father, the reader is eager to accompany him to the New World 
to carry his message of the white man's God to the American 

Black Robe Peacemaker is much more than a reUgious message. 
It is a fast-paced, adventure-packed tale of Father de Smet's efforts 
to teach the Indians to save their economic structure from the 
white man, not through warfare, but by learning the white man's 
skills, by preparing to be citizens in the new states soon to replace 
the wild range. Father de Smet is able to get through to the 
wrathful Indians even while the great Indian wars are raging. This 
he accomplishes, not through piety, but because he possesses that 
characteristic which the Indian prizes above all others — courage. 
To the Indians, Father de Smet is known as "the white man whose 
tongue does not lie," even at a time when white men are contin- 
ually breaking promises to the Indians. Through illness and 
hardship Father de Smet retains his sense of fun. In a letter 
home to his family in Belgium shortly after his journey to this 
country. Father de Smet writes: "Back home I often had to be 


bled, which required a doctor. Here it's done free — by gnats, 
fleas, ticks, flies and mosquitoes." 

The dialogue in Mr. Hokins's book is natural and convincing. 
The atmosphere is good, with many details which add to the story's 

Perhaps author Hopkins takes a biased viewpoint at times, but 
throughout, the story has a ring of truth. The book's chief frailty 
may be the author's tendency to rely too heavily on narration 
instead of telling his story through action and dialogue. This 
weakness is perhaps unavoidable, however, in a book which 
encompasses more than half a century in only 182 pages. Black 
Robe Peacemaker is well-written in simple direct language. The 
hero remains always a warm and human character, yet virile and 
unafraid and always ready for adventure. The reader has no 
difficulty understanding de Smet's appeal for both Indian and 
white man. The story closes with Father de Smet's death in 1873. 
The Indians' feeling about the loss of their friend is expressed 
simply in the author's closing words: "The Indians at the landings, 
hearing of the Black Robe's death, wailed and covered their heads 
with dust." 

Laramie, Wyoming Mrs. Margaret Hill 

Mr. Hunt and the Fabulous Plan. By Cecil Pearl Dryden, illus- 
trated by Beatrice Flora Driessen. (Caldwell, Idaho, The 
Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1958. 341 pp. $5.00) 

Wilson Price Hunt, John Day, John Clarke, Ramsey Crooks, 
Alexander Baranov, Pierre Dorion and his stoic Indian wife 
Marie — Fort Astoria, Fort Spokane, Henry's Post on the Snake, 
The Forks of the Columbia river — all names to conjure up visions 
of the Great North West — its Indians — its furs and trading — its 
early history. 

Miss Dryden creates vital, living, breathing characters out of 
these famous names — she creates sharp images out of these historic 
places. We live with them, suffer their hardships, the danger of 
their exploits. We see Fort Astoria built at the mouth of the 
Columbia river in order to control it — a part of John Jacob Astor's 
"fabulous" plan to send one expedition overland and another by 
sea to establish a fort on the river. 

The first section of the book tells of the overland trek from St. 
Louis to Fort Astoria, with Wilson Price Hunt first in command. 

The second section might have been a different story but for 
the War of 1812. The Canadians and the Americans both sought 
to control the fur trade in the area — and the war caused additional 
woes to the brave and hardy men at this remote outpost. 

At the time when decisive leadership was needed, that leadership 


was lacking, and the "fabulous" plan — to barter with the Indians 
and to trade with Russian America and China collapsed. 

One of the clerks of the company summed it up thus: "A mag- 
nificent dream has faded out. A million dollars have been sunk 
in the enterprise, two or more ships lost, and sixty-one lives 

The illustrations by Beatrice Flora Driessen add much to the 
enjoyment of the book. 

Although beamed primarily to the teen-age set, this fascinating 
true adventure can hold the interest of adults also — especially those 
interested in Western Americana. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming Mary Read Rogers 

Smith and Wesson Revolvers, The Pioneer Single Action Models. 
By John E. Parsons. (New York: Wm. Morrow & Co. 
1957. 242 pp. Bibl. illus. index. $6.00.) 

While this fine history is written primarily for the advanced 
collector of handguns, it will prove rewarding for any student of 
Western History. 

Many of the earliest types of firearms were built on the breech- 
loading principal. Apparently improvements in the manufacture 
of powder and the difficulties encountered in the manufacture of 
safe and solid breechloading systems resulted in the virtual aban- 
donment of this type of firearm until the breechloading system 
was revived by the development of manufacturing techniques and 
the improvement in the cartridge system in the middle part of the 
19th century. 

Sam Colt's revolver proved to be a revolution in the use of 
handguns. However, Colt's revolver had one serious defect: the 
cylinders had to be charged with powder and a ball or bullet 
from the front and then each nipple had to be capped. Reloading 
was a slow and laborious process. Colt attempted to solve this 
problem in many ways including the use of additional cylinders, 
factory made cartridges, capping tools, etc. 

In April 1855, Rollin White obtained a patent for a revolver 
cylinder with the chamber bored all the way through from front 
to back. White later sold the manufacturing rights on his cylinder 
to Smith & Wesson and this invention, combined with Wesson's 
experimental cartridges, created another revolution for handguns. 
The first model Smith & Wesson revolver was a success almost 
immediately. The ease with which the Smith & Wesson could be 
reloaded had tremendous appeal. 

The Civil War, the development of the West and the recon- 
struction period created an enormous demand for handguns for 
protection, military and law enforcement purposes. Sales and 


demand for the new revolvers were so large that the company did 
not require any advertising in order to sell their revolvers for 
some years. 

Smith & Wesson surmounted difficulties in manufacturing for 
both their pistols and ammunition. Some difficulty was exper- 
ienced in regard to interchangeable ammunition for other arms. 
"E. F. Cheney ordering six No. 3's from South Pass City, Wyoming 
Territory, specified: "Do not want the 'Russian Modle' ... [it] 
is a trifle larger caliber, and any cartridge I ever saw for the pistols 
would often fall back under the ejector — which is a serious fault 
in an Indian country like this.' " 

Smith & Wesson is still one of the leading makers of handguns. 
Their arms have been used throughout the world. Several years 
back a Russian team used Smith & Wesson target revolvers in 
defeating a U. S. revolver team at the South American matches. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming Frank G. Clark, Jr. 


Fama Hess Stoddard, now of Manville, Wyoming, was born 
in Bremen, Indiana, and moved to Wyoming with her family in 
1909, coming to Jireh as a child. Mrs. Stoddard attended both 
Jireh College and the University of Wyoming. She is married to 
Lee C. Stoddard and they have two children, Miriam Lucille Eby 
and Ray Ladd Stoddard. She has been active for many years in 
civic work and has held state offices in a number of organizations 
including D.A.R., Colonial Dames XVII Century, Eastern Star 
and Extension Club. Her hobbies are genealogy, gardening, 
homemaking and needlework. 

Mrs. Thelma Condit. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, 
No. 1, April 1957, p. 120. 

Louis C. Steege. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, No. 1, 
April 1957, p. 121. 

Dale L. Morgan. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, No. 1, 
April 1957, pp. 120-121. 

L. C. Bishop. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 30, No. 2, October 
1958, p. 239. 

T. J. Gatchell. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 27, No. 2, 
October 1955, p. 250. 



G om 




of Wyoming 


Stimson Photo 
Wyoming State Archives & Historical Department 

October 1959 


Fred W. Marble, Chairman Cheyenne 

E. A. Littleton Gillette 

Henry Jones Hanna 

Mrs. Lora Jewett Pinedale 

Mrs. Esther Mockler Dubois 

Mrs. Wilmot C. Hamm Rock Springs 

Mrs. WiLLLMvi Miller Lusk 

Mrs. Lorraine Stadius Thermopolis 

Attorney-General Norman Gray. E.x-officio. 



Lola M. Homsher Director 

Henryetta Berry Assistant Director 

Dorothy K. Taylor Chief, Archives & Records Division 

L. C. Steege Chief, Miiseiiiu Division 


The Annals of Wyoming is published semi-annually in April and 
October and is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society. Copies of current issues may be purchased for $1.00 each. 
Available copies of earlier issues are also for sale. A price list may be 
obtained by writing to the Editor. 

Communications should be addressed to the Editor. The Editor does 
not assume responsibility for statements of fact or of opinion made by 

Copyright, 1959, by the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department. 

A^^als of Wyoming 

Volume 31 

October 1959 

Number 2 

Lola M. Homsher 

Published Biannually by the 


Official Publication 

of the 



OFFICERS 1959-60 

President, Mrs. Thelma G. Condit Buffalo 

First Vice President, Mr. E. A. Littleton Gillette 

Second Vice President, Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins Casper 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley Cheyenne 

Executive Secretary, Miss Lola M. Homsher Cheyenne 

Past Presidents: 

Frank L. Bowron, Casper 1953-1955 

William L. Marion, Lander 1955-1956 

Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody 1956-1957 

Dr. T. a. Larson, Laramie 1957-1958 

A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins 1958-1959 

The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October 1953. 
Membership is open to anyone interested in history. County Historical 
Society Chapters have been organized in Albany, Campbell, Carbon, Fre- 
mont, Goshen, Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Park, Sweetwater, Washakie 
and Uinta counties. 


Life Membership $50.00 

Joint Life Membership (Husband and wife) 75.00 

Annual Membership 3.50 

Joint Annual Membership (Two persons of same family at 

same address.) 5.00 

Send membership dues to: 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Headquarters 
State Office Building 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 

Zable of Contents 


Ernest M. Richardson 


Everett L. Ellis 


Dale L. Morgan 

THE HOLE IN-THE-WALL, Part V, Section 5 191 

Thelma Gatchell Condit 


CoiTipiled by Maurine Carley 


L. C Steege 


Sixth Annual Meeting 


0<jhler, The Great Sioux Uprising 237 

CJlark, Frontier America 238 

Werner & Starr, Teapot Dome 239 

Sunder, Bill Sublette 240 

iDeWitt, Prairie Schooner Lady 242 

iSandoz, Hostiles and Friendlies 242 

/Morgan, Pritchard Diary 243 

i Decker, Beyond a Big Mountain 245 

) Martin. Martin's of Gunbarrel 245 

Harris, Chant of the Hawk 247 




Iron Horse Wrangler 126, 128, 132 

Ferries of the Forty-Niners 144, 184 

Hole-in-the-Wall 190, 192, 194 

Oregon Trail Trek No. 9 217, 219 

Wyoming Archaeological Notes 228 

I Wyoming State Historical Society 236 

Maps: Hole-in-the-Wall 198 

Oregon Trail Trek No. 9 214 

Pioneer Track Layers 

The Iron Horse coming into Wyoming from the extreme southwest corner 
of South Dakota in the fall of 1889. Dick Nelson, then 14 years old, 
watched them. During the next fifty years Nelson would learn every detail 
of the work these men were doing. He says, "See that fellow up» in the 
'Crow's Nest'? When the foreman on the ground was ready to move, up 
went his thumb and the trainman on the seat signalled the engineer to move 
ahead one 28 foot rail-length. Brother, you'd better stop with wheels 
about six inches from the end of rail!" It required delicacy of movement. 
Otherwise ther'd be a spill. 

Supplies Heading For The Pumpkin Buttes Country Along The Powder 

After the railroad reached Newcastle in the fall of 1889, supplies that came 
by rail from the east still had to be hauled by mule teams and ox teams 
on to points of consumption. Dick Nelson says, "Many outfits like thiis, 
and bull-teams too, pulled out of Newcastle for Sundance, Sheridan, Buf- 
falo, over the Big Horns and down Rome Hill to Basin City and the few 
stores in the Big Horn Basin." 

JroH Morse Wrangler 


Ernest M. Richardson 

Down San Diego way and among the Rotary Clubs throughout 
Southern Cahfornia, from the Tehachapi Mountains on the north 
to the Mexican border on the south, they call him "Old Wyoming". 

He's been there in Southern California since 1939 carrying on 
for two decades as Wyoming's unofficial Ambassador of Goodwill; 
always ready, willing, and anxious to get on his feet and tell about 
the wonders of Wonderful Wyoming, its people, its charms, its 
history. No living man knows more about Wyoming and its 
people, or loves them more, than does Dick J. Nelson, the young- 
est, spriest, most animated octogenarian you'll ever meet up with, 
anywhere, anytime. 

His life and career in Wyoming go back a full two years before 
the Territory of Wyoming became the State of Wyoming. His 
father brought Dick and the rest of the Nelson family by covered 
wagon from Mitchell County, Kansas, to northeastern Wyoming 
in the spring of 1888 when Dick was thirteen. He homesteaded 
on Oil Creek on the Wyoming side of the Black Hills and began 
the task of grubbing a precarious existence out of a dry, rugged, 
often unfriendly land. 

A hundred miles away, down in the sand-hills of northwestern 
Nebraska, sweating construction terriers were scooping up the 
grades and blasting out the cuts and laying down the fifty-six 
pound steel rails for the westward moving Burhngton & Missouri 
River Railroad — the first railroad to enter the north half of 
Wyoming; the first, and only, railroad ever to penetrate the 
Powder River valley in Wyoming. 

Seventy-five miles to the west of A. M. Nelson's homestead lay 
the Pumpkin Buttes, famous landmark along the old Bozeman 
Trail through the Powder River country. On a clear day, and 
there are many such days in the high plains country, young Dick 
could see the famous buttes, see them standing out sharp and 
clear in the moistureless air. Sometimes, atop his saddlehorse, 
he could even see the dark mass of the rugged Big Horns half-a- 
hundred miles on beyond the buttes. 

It was a big country, as it lay there spread out between the 
Black Hills and the Big Horns. Magnificent, awe-inspiring, empty. 
No highways, no railroads, very few homesteaders — yet. Soon, 
all three would be coming; but now, in 1888, about the only thing 
it had was room. Wide-open, unfenced, uninhabited Cow Coun- 



Dick Nelson in 1927 at the age of 51. He 

was then The Burlington Route's Assistant 

Superintendent with headquarters at Greybull, 


Courtesy Dick J. Nelson 

try; occupied, managed, governed in a way, by just a few big 
cow outfits — the tougher ones. Those lacking toughness hadn't 
survived the killing winter storms of 1886-87. 

But the railroad construction crews were coming. And the 
surveying crews were out in front. They needed supplies and the 
Nelsons traded with them; traded milk, eggs, poultry, meat, for 
flour and sugar and coffee and beans. Commerce has its be- 
ginnings in this simple way. 

Young Dick Nelson, a solemn-faced little thirteen-year-old with 
a sensitive countenance and a stubborn chin, his vision broadened 
and imagination stimulated by the very bigness of the land in 
which he lived, bargained with these people for a job. 

Someone — maybe it was Frank Mondell, or Bill Kilpatrick — 
recognized in the eyes of this lad, or in the cut of his square jaw, 
something the observer wanted. So, on March 17th, 1889 the 
name of Dick J. Nelson went on the payroll book of Kilpatrick 
Brothers & Collins, general construction contractors for the rail- 


road. Over two months must pass before the boy would be 
fourteen years old. 

To most people — what few there were in that part of Wyoming 
— the morning of Wednesday, October 30, 1889, was just like 
any other October morning in northeastern Wyoming. A bright 
sun in a cloudless sky, the air with that sharp, bracing, wine-like 
quality, typical of the high-plains country. Khaki-colored grasses 
curled between scattered bunches of olive tinted sagebrush and 
darkly verdant grease wood; and the fall frosts had splashed a 
coloring of yellow and orange and apricot over the cottonwoods 
and birches on the slopes of the hills and along the twisting creek 
beds in the wide valley. A beautiful morning; a good morning 
to be alive and on the back of a good horse — especially if you 
were an eager fourteen-year-old who had just ridden some twenty 
miles that morning to get there in time to see this much talked- 
about railroad come across the Dakota line. 

Engine 191 of the B.&M. work train, shoving its car of steel 
rails ahead and dragging its flat car loaded with ties, came to a 
dead stop on signal from the conductor. A brakeman set the 
hand brakes. Workmen placed ties in position to receive the 
heavy rails, in pairs, temporarily held to the proper guage by their 
bridle bars. 

The rails were skidded from the open end of the front car and 
placed in position on the pine ties. A pair of men — one on each 
side — tapped their spikes in place, then swung their steel-headed 
spike mauls. The first steel rail ever to be laid in the north half of 
Wyoming Territory had been set in place. 

No ceremonies, no flag waving, no ribbon cutting. Just a few 
ringing blows of steel on steel, then a toot from the whistle of old 
Engine 191. That was it. 

A startled antelope leaped high and scurried off through the 
sage brush. A covey of sage hens whirred away; a menacing 
clatter came from a frightened rattlesnake; a dozen curious prairie 
dogs dived for safety. 

Hunched over in the saddle atop his trembling bay horse, the 
booted and Stetson-hatted kid was watching every movement, his 
insides churning with repressed excitement, his eager young mind 
groping for something it couldn't quite reach, nor even under- 
stand. He didn't know it then, but he had just witnessed the end 
of one era and the beginning of another. The Iron Horse was 
moving into a new country — the historic Bozeman Trail country 
and the Powder River country — a vast, thinly populated land, 
whose meager transport needs had been meagerly served by the 
creeping, crawling ox-team and mule-team; by the pack-horse 
and the saddle-horse; by the lurching stage-coach. 

Now, with the advent of cheaper, faster, more dependable trans- 
portation, more people would be coming into this big country. 


The Iron Horse Wranglers would replace the long-haul stagecoach 
drivers, the mule skinners, the bull whackers. 

Soon thousands of carloads of barbed wire would be hauled in 
from the steel mills in the east. The day of the wide-open un- 
fenced range with its free grass was drawing toward its end. 

Fixed points of time, marking the end or the beginning of an 
era, are not to be recognized by those who live with or through 
them. Decades later, historians may finger an old calendar and 
point to a date, marking it as the start or the finish. Others may 
disagree and point to another date, or another month, or another 
year. All of them may be correct. Epochs have no starting 
gates to be opened in a split second at the touch of an electric 
switch, no electronically controlled cameras to record the exact 
time and order at the finish line. The beginning line and the 
finish line of an era may be so blurred and spread out as to 
make it hard to tell which is which. 

It's safe to say that Dick Nelson — fourteen, going on fifteen — 
wasn't pondering on this philosophical enigma. His mind was 
too busy with the things going on right there in front of him. 
Fascinated by what he was witnessing, the blood of a future rail- 
roader — a future Iron Horse Wrangler — pounded in his temples. 
He'd been bitten that morning by the railroad bug. He would never 
get over it. 

He went back to his job at the construction commissary — 
roustabout, clerk, general handyman — with its long hours and 
short pay, and stuck with it while the B.&M. tracks were being 
pushed diagonally across northern Wyoming. Newcastle in No- 
vember; then Merino (later to be named Upton), and Moorcroft, 
reaching Gillette in August, 1891. 

During this time young Nelson worked with several different 
commissary crews: on the coal spur running up the canyon 
from Newcastle to Cambria; on the branch line to the gold mining 
towns of Custer, Hill City, Deadwood; then back on the main 
line again in time to see the first train chug slowly into Gillette 
on August 10th, 1891. Then he was a man of sixteen. 

Sprawling, brawling little frontier towns shaped up behind the 
construction crews. Tents disappeared, replaced by hastily built 
lumber and tar paper shacks, false fronted stores, saloons, gam- 
bling houses; also, of course, those other places of entertainment, 
now daintily referred to as "Dance Halls" by Hollywood's scrip- 
ters. Dick Nelson and this writer remember them by another, 
more ribald, designation. 

Now in his mid-eighties. Nelson can recall many incidents — 
some amusing, some sad, some downright tragic — which he wit- 
nessed on the drab, dusty streets of those rip-snorting little towns 
in the early nineties. 

Railroaders generally — both builders and operating men — live 
pretty much in a world apart; a narrow world, but a long one; 


bounded on the right and on the left by the right-of-way fence; 
its length, the mileage between the operating terminals. At any 
rate, that was the situation during my own railroading days half- 
a-century ago. 

Big things were going on while the B.&M. lines were being 
pushed toward the valley of the Powder, but it's doubtful if many 
of the workers were aware of the events. They had a railroad to 

It's a safe bet that, in the fall of 1889, not a one of the work 
train crew or the construction terriers and mule skinners pushing 
the new line across Stockade Beaver toward the mouth of Cambria 
Canyon, had ever herd of a Nevada Paiute Indian called Wovoka. 
Yet, even then, rumors about this Indian Messiah who had visions 
were seeping into the Sioux reservation at Pine Ridge, only sixty 
miles away from the new railroad line. Within a year Wovoka's 
religion with its Ghost Dances and its allegedly bulletproof Ghost 
Shirts, would lead directly to the killing of old Sitting Bull two 
hundred miles east of the newly surveyed line, and to the Wounded 
Knee massacre only a short sixty miles from the new B.& M. line 
into the Black Hills. 

In little towns and on lonely ranches and homesteads to the 
east of the construction camps, frightened whites were hurriedly 
building stockades and blockhouses for the protection of their 
families. The mayor of Newcastle was frantically wiring the state 
capital at Cheyenne for a big supply of guns and ammunition. 

But the railroad builders, in their own little strip of isolated 
world, went right ahead with their work. Mule skinners, yelling 
at reluctant animals, split the air with picturesque invective and 
creased thick tough mule hides with the business end of black- 
snake whips. Sweaty men with bulging biceps lugged heavy 
wooden ties, laid them on the prepared grade; rails in pairs slid 
from the car and spikes were driven into the wood with the 
ringing rhythm of steel against steel. A beautiful symphony, if 
you were a railroad builder. 

And these men were railroad builders. They had a job to do. 
They were on their way to the Powder! Yes, and beyond the 
Powder; on their way to more coal; and to a coastal connection in 
the valley of the Yellowstone, where the B. & M. would tie in 
with the Northern Pacific at Billings. 

And even if these railroad builders had heard anything about 
Indian troubles at the Standing Rock reservation, and at Pine 
Ridge, and along Wounded Knee Creek — and they probably 
didn't until long after everything had quieted down — they still 
wouldn't have been excited. Indians had never stopped railroad 
builders when there was a job to be done. 

There was family life at the scattered grading camps operated 
by the subcontractors. One old picture shows six women and 
eight children lined up for the photographer among the teams and 



Pushing The Rails Toward The Powder 

A grading camp of the construction contractors, Kilpatrick Brothers & 
Collins, building the first railroad into the northern half of Wyoming. Then 
known as the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad it would later become 
a part of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy mainline, cutting across the 
Powder River valley and on to Billings, Montana. The photographer must 
have prepared the families in advance. Note the ladies and children appear 
to be decked out in their Sunday best. Even some of the men are wearing 
white shirts. — Photo taken about 1889, Courtesy of Dick J. Nelson 

scrapers and plows. In the background one can see a covered 
emigrant wagon which served as a home for one of the famihes. 
Other tents and wagons are located out of the range of the camera. 

The food, furnished by the K.B.& C. subcontractors, was some- 
what better than standard frontier fare. Antelope steaks and 
roasts broke the monotony of smoked bacon, and on rare occasions 
fresh beef was available when some enterprising homesteader 
killed a steer and hauled it in to the commissary. 

As the line pushed westward, beef became available more fre- 
quently. More people seemed to be learning about the beef- 
hungry railroad builders, and the demand began to produce its 
supply. An industry — not altogether new in Cow Country — 
began to flourish. 

In the hidden valleys and box canyons of the Big Horns, cattle 
were being slaughtered with very little regard for the formalities 
of legal ownership. Branded hides were ripped off and buried 
far from the prying eyes of Stock Association detectives, the 
carcasses cut up and hauled to the construction camps and sold 


for cash money to the not too inquisitive commissary buyers. The 
railroad builders had opened up a market — a very lucrative and 
tempting market — for the cattle rustlers, big and little. So the 
industry boomed, and blood pressures around the headquarters 
of the Wyoming Stockgrowers' Association and the swanky Chey- 
enne Club began to rise toward the apoplectic point. 

It would be oversimplification, if not a downright misstatement, 
to say that the building of the B.& M. through the Powder River 
country brought on the notorious Johnson County Cattle War. 
It may have hastened that fiasco, but it probably would have 
happened eventually anyhow. But certainly the well known fact 
that the railroad builders were consuming a lot of rustler-slaugh- 
tered beef didn't have exactly a soothing effect on the belligerent 
cattle barons down at the Cheyenne Club. 

Something had to be done, so they proceeded to plan and 
organize the ill-fated invasion of Johnson County. And about 
the only good — if it was good — to come out of that comic-opera 
conflict, was that it furnished to yet unborn generations of authors 
and script writers the source of material and plot germs for 
thousands of paper-backed Western novels, uncounted movie and 
television scripts, and gave lucrative employment to whole regi- 
ments of Hollywood cowpokes. Some future statistician, with a 
battery of Univac machines, may be able to compute the carloads 
of pulp paper consumed and the miles of movie film used up, 
all directly chargeable to that Johnson County unpleasantness. 

Young Dick Nelson, embryo railroad operating man, not yet 
turned seventeen, was at or around Gillette while the preparations 
were being made for the Johnson County invasion. He must have 
heard rumors of the coming troubles, but they probably made 
little impression on his mind. These things were not connected 
with railroading, and his attention was focused on railroading. 

He saw the rails pushing on westward from Gillette through the 
rolling hills toward the Powder. He saw the trains coming into 
Gillette from the east, unloading their passengers and express and 
mail and heavier freight; saw the long lines of empty stock cars 
being dragged in from the east and shunted to the mile long side- 
track which served the loading pens; saw the range cattle — 
thousands of heads of them — prodded into the cars and started off 
on their last journey toward the packing plants in Chicago. He 
saw these things. And everything he saw thrilled him. 

He also saw bunches of cow hands, fresh in from the Powder 
and its tributaries; from the Tongue, the Rosebud, the Belle 
Fourche; sometimes even from the distant Yellowstone, whenever 
an enterprising B.& M. traffic solicitor could outsmart or outbid 
his Northern Pacific competitor. He saw these men from the 
ranges moving around the little town, from barber shop to saloon, 
to gambling house, to "dance hall"; saw them drink and gamble 
and dance. Sometimes he saw them die. 


The fall months of 1891 were busy ones for the railroaders and 
for the business men — and women — in and around the new town. 
They were also busy months for the hard driving construction 
gangs pushing the steel toward the Big Horns and on toward the 
eager little village of Sheridan with its three hundred residents and 
its nearby coal fields. 

Down Newcastle way, Dad Nelson was taking an active and 
ever increasing interest in the affairs of the thriving young town: 
town and county politics, lodge work, community service work 
of all kinds. He was also looking hopefully to the time when this 
growing son of his would give up this silly business of railroading 
and come back home where he belonged. There was money to 
be made in ranching; railroading was only a job. 

Finally, in May, 1892, when the construction crews were getting 
into high gear for their big spring push toward the Powder River 
crossing, Dad Nelson was able to persuade the lad to come back 
to the ranch on Oil Creek and look after his little, but growing, 
herd of cattle. 

The boy came home; obediently, but by no means happily. 

There was ranch work to be done; some, but not nearly enough 
to hold the interest of a boy who'd been stung by the railroading 
bug and infected with a virus for which no cure had ever been 

The distant rumble of B.& M. trains; the sound of a far-off 
locomotive whistle in the night, like the wail of a lonesome coyote; 
black clouds of coal smoke belching from the stack of a laboring 
freight engine, then floating lazily out behind a string of cars 
inching up the long grade from the east. All these things kept 
calling him, bringing back a thousand memories, a thousand 
wonderful dreams; a thousand vague hopes, and longings, and 

He stayed at home for three years, working on the little ranch 
when there was work to be done, never missing an opportunity 
to try and convince Dad Nelson that a railroader's life was the 
life for his son. 

During slack periods on the ranch he got various odd jobs 
working for the merchants in town. He was a good worker, they 
liked him, and someone could always use him. And he enjoyed 
working in town because that brought him closer to the railroad, 
and to railroaders. Many trainmen and enginemen lived in New- 
castle. Dick liked being with them and talking to them. 

He liked the sounds, the smells, the hustle and bustle and ex- 
citement of a railroad town. 

For three whole years he worked persistently on every railroad 
man he could corner, from Ellis R. Maris, the station agent on up, 
and down, letting them know that he would be ready for a job as 
brakeman on the B.& M. just as soon as they would take him. 
In May, 1895, he got his interview with Harry C. Nutt, Jr., the 


assistant division superintendent and was told to report at Mr. 
Nutt's office in Sheridan on June 1st. Dad Nelson sighed and 
gave up, but still maintained that the boy was making a mistake. 
Let Dick tell us in his own words about his interview with Mr. 
Nutt's clerk in Sheridan: 

"He gave me a book of rules and a timetable. No physical exam- 
ination. No nothing. All he said was 'Go get a place to room and 
board. If I'm not here let the dispatcher know where the call boy 
can find you. You'll probably get out before morning. Get your 
lantern out of your crew's way car!'. Oh, yes — he gave me a switch 
key, No.G-520. After 64 years, I still have it." 

He was called for his first run, leaving about 2:00 a.m.; an 
"Extra" freight train going east, with Conductor Jim Considine in 
charge. He found his way in the dark to his "way-car" — caboose, 
to most of us — got his lantern and was told to hike over to the 
roundhouse and get the two engines that would pull the train 
out of town. 

Dick Nelson tells us about that initial assignment as a B.& M. 
brakeman: "I went to the roundhouse to get the two engines, 
K-291 and A-23. Had to couple them together with long pilot 
bar; pin in cathead; link and pin in tank to couple on to train. 
No one to help or show me how, but I made it — in the dark — with 
an old smokey coal oil burning lantern." 

They pulled out of the Sheridan yards with orders to take the 
siding at Arno where they would meet a westbound freight train. 
Arno was the first siding east of Sheridan. 

Jim Considine rode the engine. When they stopped at the west 
switch at Arno, Considine and his engineer saw cars standing 
on the siding. Considine's train would have to pull on past the 
siding and back in from the east end. This called for a job of 
flagging to protect against a head-on collision with the westbound 

Considine called on his new, green brakeman. "Charley," he 
said. (Jim Considine always called everyone by that easily re- 
membered name. He was calling this writer by that name a 
dozen years later.) "Charley, you take these torpedoes, and 
this red lantern and go out there and flag that train! Stop 'em! 
Stop 'em — and tell them we're going to pull down past that east 
switch and back in." 

Dick was on his way — on the double. 

A hundred yards down the track Jim Considine's bull-like roar 
stopped the speeding boy. 

"CHARLIE ! — Do you understand? — YOU'RE TO FLAG 

"Yes, SIR!" Nelson's voice was sharp and clear. He was on 
his way again. 

Twice more, as the boy hurried down the track, Considine's 


Stentorian voice repeated the instructions. "Charley" kept going, 
met the opposing train about a mile east of the east switch, 
flagged them down. 

This incident made a lasting impression on the mind of the 
young brakeman. It's still etched there, sharp and clear after 
sixty-four years. He would never forget the lesson in safe train 
operation given to him by Jim Considine that night. 

Now, at twenty, Dick Nelson was a railroad trainman — a 
brakeman — an Iron Horse Wrangler. It was a rugged job in a 
rugged land; an especially rugged job for a freight brakeman 
during the winter months. And there are a lot of winter months 
in that stretch of Powder River country between Sheridan and 

Again, let's have Dick tell us about a freight brakeman's work 
in 1895: 

"There were only a few air brakes on freight cars; ninety-five 
per cent were the old Unk-and-pin couplers, non-air, single con- 
nected hand-brakes. We had to ride out on top when the train 
was moving. Trainmen did the braking — not the engineers. The 
engineer had nothing to do with it except to apply the straight 
air brakes direct to the engine drivers, or to reverse the 'Johnson 
bar'; and he didn't like to do that because it sometimes knocked 
out the cylinder packing, then he'd have to repack. Now, on some 
of the television shows I've seen some great acts of balancing and 
juggling. But they couldn't compare with some of the things I've 
seen — and done — on top of a string of moving box cars. That 
took nerve, co-ordination, timing, and a perfect sense of balance, 
to go over the top of a freight train — winter or summer — hitting 
curves at 60 miles an hour at times. No extension running boards. 
Long spaces between the cars because of the 14-inch link and the 
slack in the non-spring drawbars. Rain, snow, sleet, ice all over 
the roofs and on brake wheels and handholds. Bundled up to 
keep from freezing in temperatures sometimes as low as 45 below 
zero, with winds that'd knock your whiskers off! But we did it — 
it had to be done. We had to work with what we had available. 
We knew no other way." 

Fiction writers have created that great mythical folk-hero, the 
hard-riding, straight-shooting, hell-for-leather cowpoke. They've 
gotten their greatest inspiration from the Powder River country. 
Owen Wister, with his The Virginian, was the first of the scribblers 
to discover the gold in "them thar hills". Thus the Powder became 
the Great Mother Lode country for those later writers who care- 
fully followed Wister's trail. Some of them have done right well, 
too. Others have come in with some rather preposterous por- 
trayals. Many of them couldn't even find the Powder River 
country on a Rand-McNally map. And all of them seem to have 
completely missed the potentially dramatic possibilities inherent 
in early day railroading, a vocation infinitely more hazardous than 


bustin' broncs, or branding mavericks over in the Hole-in-tlie-Wall 

Let's have Dick Nelson tell us about coupling two freight cars 
together, one of them in motion; cars equipped with the ancient 
link-and-pin coupling devices: 

"Step over one rail onto the track where there's no ballast 
between the ties. Maybe a foot of snow, so you can't see what's 
underneath. Judge the speed of the moving car coming toward 
you. Lift the link so it will enter the pocket of the draw bar. Get 
hands and fingers out of the way — you may need 'em again 
sometime. Damage to the equipment will result if the link goes 
over, or under, the pocket. Then you'll have to go back to the 
way-car, loop a bull-chain around your neck, come back, get that 
cripled car out of the train and onto a side track. Then get ready 
to catch hell from the boss because you've been so clumsy. If 
you'd really been clumsy and slipped under the wheels of a 
moving car, you'd wind up dead, or crippled for life." 

There were other things too. Other hazards, unexpected emerg- 
encies to cope with. And the railroader of the nineties didn't 
have our mid-twentieth century tools. He had to do the job with 
the tools at hand. 

There were blizzards and deep cuts choked with snowdrifts 
sometimes twenty, thirty, forty feet deep. There were floods, 
washouts, burned bridges, wrecks, derailments. Anything can 
happen on a railroad, and it often does. 

"I've been stuck in so many snowdrifts," Dick Nelson tells us, 
"that I can't remember the half of them. Once I was on a pas- 
senger train that was stuck in the snow for forty hours. In 1923 
when I was assistant superintendent on the Casper Division we 
had a flood break in the Casper-Billings line from the middle of 
July until after the first of November. That time I didn't get to 
my home or to my office for nine straight weeks." 

Four years after that night when Dick went out on his first run 
with Jim Considine his name went on the Extra Board as a freight 
conductor. Eight years later, resplendent in his brand new blue 
uniform with shiny brass buttons and gold braid, he took out his 
first run as a Burlington passenger conductor. When Dad Nelson 
saw his handsome 32-year-old son bedecked as a uniformed 
passenger train conductor he laid aside his objections to his son's 
chosen career. Two years later, when the young man became a 
Burlington official and was given the title of Trainmaster, Dad 
Nelson really strutted. 

"Son," the old gentleman said, "you're doing all right. I'm 
proud of you!" 

It's a right smart piece from the Extra Board as a freight con- 
ductor to the important official job of Trainmaster, boss of all the 
trainmen on the Division, especially when a man makes it in a 
little over ten years. 


During that short ten years there were men in the higher echelon 
of Burhngton officialdom who had eyes on this young fellow. 
They gave him jobs to do; extra jobs, unusual jobs, clear outside 
the general run of work usually assigned to freight and passenger 
conductors. Jobs like running the big Minturn Ballast Pits, or 
supervising the construction of the new Burlington lines into the 
Big Horn Basin. For a time he was Joint Agent and General 
Yardmaster at Sheridan. Then he was placed on a committee 
to revise the rules of the Operating Department, and was used 
as a special instructor on rules, safety, and damage. They were 
educating him and getting him ready for still greater respon- 

While still working as a freight brakeman in the summer of 
1898 he met a charming young lady, Miss Mae Murrin, whose 
father had come to the Territory of Wyoming with the troops 
guarding the construction crews who were building the Union 
Pacific railroad in 1867. Dick and Mae were married two years 
later, spent a ten day honeymoon at Sylvan Lake in the Black 
Hills, then went on to Sheridan and set up housekeeping. Two 
children, three grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, came 
from this happy union. 

World War I found the nation in need of skilled railroad oper- 
ating men. Trainmaster Nelson from the Powder River country 
volunteered for officer training and was commissioned a First 
Lieutenant in the 1 1 8th Engineers Railroad Regiment. The outfit 
had its overseas orders when the Armistice ended the conflict, 
November 11, 1918. Dick now says that the Kaiser heard he 
was coming and threw in the towel. 

Back on the rails again, the Burlington's top brass gave him 
another promotion, putting him in charge of the Casper Division 
as Assistant Superintendent. 

Fifteen years later, on June 1, 1934, he was made Superintend- 
ent of the Sheridan Division. Once more he was back in the 
Powder River country; back where he'd gone out on his first 
freight run as a rookie brakeman for old Jim Considine thirty-nine 
years before. 

Now a railroad Division Superintendent is a big man on any- 
body's railroad. He's a reigning monarch, almost an absolute 
monarch. Dick Nelson, with nearly forty years of railroad operat- 
ing experience behind him, ran this kingdom of his as it should 
have been run. 

November 1, 1939, the Burlington retired the old Iron Horse 
Wrangler. His sixty-fifth birthday — marking the arbitrary retire- 
ment age — was coming up; but looking at him today, no one 
would guess him to be sixty-five, even now. 

Dick and Mae moved out to San Diego, bought a little home, 
and settled back to enjoy a life of ease in the California sunshine. 

If he had followed the usual pattern of retirement inactivity 


after a lifetime of hard work, his name would now be decorating 
a marble headstone in some obscure cemetery. But he didn't 
do that; he kept himself busy — just as busy as when he was the 
Burlington's Division Superintendent up in the Powder River 
country a quarter of a century ago. 

Two years after his arrival in San Diego, America was drawn 
into World War II. Dick Nelson, 67 years old, went to work 
in a war plant and he worked there until the war ended. Then 
he began assembling material for some historical writing he had 
long wanted to do. 

In 1951 he published his first book — an interesting collection 
of historical incidents which had taken place in the three 
northeastern counties of his Wonderful Wyoming — Only a Cow 
Country. And in 1957, when he was eighty-two years young, he 
published another book, The Big Horn Basin, covering the history 
of that interesting part of Wyoming. 

In gathering the material for these two volumes. Nelson had 
the cooperation of his beloved Burlington Lines, and when the 
time came for a sales promotion trip, President Harry C. Murphy 
of the Burlington put a private car at his disposal, completely 
stocked and with a full private car crew. He picked this car up 
at Denver and toured the northern Wyoming lines of the Burling- 
ton in style, meeting and entertaining his old friends and making 
new ones in Newcastle, Gillette, Sheridan; journeying once more 
over the tracks he knew so well, and gathering still more material 
for future use. 

He'll always keep busy, this son of the great American West. 
He'll always be an Ambassador of Goodwill for all of Wyoming, 
but especially for the Powder River country where he learned his 
trade as an Iron Horse Wrangler. 

Zo Zakea Scalp 

Everett L. Ellis 

It happened many times. Usually against a background of 
desolation and sage brush an Indian stood over his slain enemy. 
He grabbed the scalp and with two quick circular thrusts his knife 
loosened the skin. With his feet against the dead man's shoulder, 
he pulled until the scalp came loose with a characteristic flop. 
It was the act of a savage and many of the Indians of North 
America were guilty of such a universally condemned custom. 

Little has really been said and much has been misunderstood 
about scalping. It is usually the Plains Indians of America that 
one associates with scalping. However, the custom was not un- 
known to the Old World where it was practiced by the Scythians. 
The custom of scalping was originally involved with decapitation 
or the severing of other parts of the body, the parts being con- 
sidered as war trophies. The shrinking of heads by the Jivaro 
Indians of Ecquador was an example of this. The taking of the 
scalp rather than the head was probably a practical approach to 
the matter. The scalp was much lighter and easier to decorate. 
In America the custom was originally confined to a limited area 
of the eastern United States and the lower St. Lawrence region. 
It was actually unknown in the Plains area until comparatively 
recent times. Scalping was rare in Central and South America and 
was not practiced to any extent in the Canadian Northwest nor 
along the whole Pacific Coast. 

It was the bounty system beginning with our colonial and the 
more recent governments that actually stimulated the spread of 
scalping. If you had a good day in 1724 and came staggering 
home with an Indian scalp, the colony of Massachusetts gave 
you one hundred pounds of sterling. This was the equivalent of 
five hundred dollars. In 1755 the same government gave you 
forty pounds of sterling for a male Indian scalp over twelve years 
of age and twenty pounds of sterling for a female or child scalp. 

The Plains Indian was probably studied or observed first hand 
to a greater extent than other Indian groups. Those who spent 
considerable time in the West differed in their opinion as to why 
the Indian scalped his enemy. Francis Parkman thought it repre- 
sented a barbarian who had or needed little meaning or reason 
for his actions. George Catlin, the early painter of the Plains 
Indian, felt that the Indian had definite reasons which motivated 
his actions. Catlin said the Indian, like anyone else, had to 


establish his position in society and that he used the scalp as one 
of the records or certificates of achievement. It stood for bravery 
and its value lay in its ability to impress his fellow warrior. At 
any rate, scalping was handed down as a regulation or part of the 
Indian's society which was never questioned. 

Some thought that the number of scalps obtained greatly aided 
the aspiring young warrior to boost his standing in the community. 
Most everyone agreed it helped, but that there were other "coups" 
or acts of bravery. Catlin in describing his paintings of scalp 
poles implied there was a typical "keeping up with the Joneses" 
approach. It was the chief who put up his scalp pole first and 
immediately the other warriors were expected to do the same. 
Everyone looked at the scalp poles and counted the number of 
scalps his comrades had swinging in the breeze. A quick glance 
would tell you what your standing in the community was for that 
week or month. "Family connections" mean't nothing as inheri- 
tance was taboo. You got a chieftaincy via your own personal 
achievements. As a matter of fact, you didn't even inherit the 
family name. So the scalp, along with a stolen rifle or a stolen 
horse, were concrete evidence of bravery and superiority over the 

The scalp was removed under various conditions. Some tribes 
held that the scalp must be from an enemy or it would bring 
disgrace to the warrior. But, again, there were times when the 
enemy might include anyone. This was illustrated during the 
Revolutionary War when the enemy could be either a "red or blue 
coated" scalp. It depended on whether the source of reimburse- 
ment was the United States or Britain. For many tribes scalping 
was not an act or method of killing. Unknowingly or accidently 
the Indian might take a scalp from an unconscious victim that had 
been mistaken for dead. There had been numerous living evi- 
dences of such happenings. 

It is usually thought that scalping was a monopoly of the Indian, 
but white men were also guilty. The Mountain men of the 1830's 
in their lonely, dangerous trek for beaver skins had reverted to 
savagery and they took their share of scalps. 

The method of taking the scalp was swift and bloody. The 
one-fourth inch thick scalp lies snugly over the bony skull and the 
only vital structures encountered are the abundant blood vessels 
in the scalp itself. One could readily bleed to death from such a 
blood loss, but at the same time a good bit of pressure applied 
to the area would stop the hemorrhage. There were such cases 
of survival and the only permanent damage was a cosmetic one. 
The brain is so well protected by its bony skull enclosure that 
scalping itself created no damage unless the head was struck by a 
heavy object to the extent that the skull would be fractured or the 
victim suffer from concussion. 

The amount of scalp removed measured about the size of the 


palm of the hand or sHghtly larger. If the battle had subsided 
and the warrior had quickly ascertained that his own scalp was 
not in jeopardy, he would take additional hair. Any extra patches 
of hair mean't that much more for scalp locks or other decorative 
purposes. The scalp had to contain the crown to be acceptable. 
That was the part from which the hair radiates from a central 

It was of no consolation that the scalping was usually performed 
by a tool of civilized manufacture. The most widely used weapon 
was an ordinary cheap butcher knife. If one looked closely at the 
blade he would often see the initials G R. This stood for George 
Rex, an old stamp of British authencity, and it was suppose to 
convince the Indian that he was getting the standard item. (It 
didn't take the trappers very long to change the meaning of the 
letters to Green River.) The British knife was single-bladed and 
heavy and, as such, it was much more used and liked than the 
lighter, double-bladed American knife. The heavy knife often 
had a blade whose back side was one-half inch thick. Sitting 
Bulls' museum piece is an example of this. If the Indian got his 
knife in 1832 he probably traded his sixty dollar horse to obtain 
the two dollar item. 

The battle over, the war booty was brought home. The scalp 
was dried and it was then curiously ornamented and displayed 
as a trophy in many forms. The most common way of keeping 
a scalp was to stretch it on a small hoop and attach it to a long 
stick about two feet long. This was the form generally used in 
the scalp dance. Other smaller scalps or patches of hair were 
attached to different parts of clothing as in the form of fringes 
on the sleeves of garments. Still other trophies were suspended 
from the bridles of their horse and used in parades. The skin 
side of the scalp was often painted entirely red or one half red 
and one half black. The other hairy side was usually braided. 
Some scalps were suspended from a pole over the wigwam. This 
was the often-described "scalp-pole". The paintings of George 
Catlin in the National Museum at Washington, D.C., accurately 
portray the various scalp preparations. 

A war party of great daring would come home bearing fresh 
scalps. It was a triumphant return which called for a celebration 
— a scalp dance. Scalps both old and new were used. The 
women brought forth all the tribe's old scalps. It was in the scalp 
dance alone that women did lead a tribal ritual or don warrior's 
apparel. Lewis Garrad in his book "Wah-To-Yah" gives us one 
of the most authentic versions of the scalp dance. He had been 
invited by the chiefs of the Cheyenne tribe to join and watch the 
dance. On this particular occasion the scalps were from the 
Pawnee. He joined the chiefs as they sat down by a huge pile 
of fired dry logs. The dance was usually held at night and light 
was furnished by the large fire. The faces of the girls were either 


brilliant with vermillion or dark with a blackening soil mixture. 
The dress was covered with beads and porcupine quillwork. Their 
arms and fingers were covered with brass bracelets or rings. Shells 
of various kinds dangled from their ears. There were approxi- 
mately two hundred women and two hundred and fifty men who 
joined together to form a huge circle and then moved around in a 
shuffling step. Inside this circle, and marching in a contrary 
direction, were twenty-five drummers and musicians. Surrounding 
this group were many hundreds of onlookers. There was the 
thud of the drums and the singing of the dancers. It started 
slowly, but the pace accelerated as the scalps of the slain were 
borne aloft. The scalps were shaken wildly for all to see — as 
battle pennants atop their tall poles. This affair often lasted for 
two or more days. 

Having served their ceremonial purpose, the scalps were dis- 
posed of in different ways. In most cases, the scalp was treated 
with great respect while in use. Some tribes regarded the scalps 
with fear and had to purify them and pray over them to keep them 
harmless. Such was the case of the Papagos and Pina Indians of 
Arizona. It was this tribe which permitted only designated priest- 
like men to take the scalps. Often times the scalps were buried 
after a series of public exhibitions. The burial was accompanied 
by the mournful songs which were howled or sung for the benefit 
of the victims. Some tribes placed the scalps on buffalo chips 
and left them on the battleground as a sacrifice to the sun god. 
The Dakota tribe destroyed theirs after one year of use in order 
to release the enemy spirits from their earthly ties. Some scalps 
continued to adorn the warrior's clothing or his horse. Others 
were used in sacred medicine bundles. 

The Indian and his scalping have long disappeared from the 
American scene and yet no one really knows just how much con- 
science these warriors actually harbored. This so-called stoic 
Indian certainly had a superstitious dread of the spirits of his slain 
enemies. Many have remarked about the noble eyes of the Indian 
which belied his savagery. 

Zlie Jerries of the Jorty-J^iners 


Dale L. Morgan 


In Part I of this account of travelers by the South Pass route 
who in 1849 were faced with the problem of getting themselves, 
their animals, their wagons, and their belongings across the deep 
and rapid mountain rivers, attention was directed to the ferries 
across the Laramie River and the North Fork of the Platte in the 
vicinity of Fort Laramie, and to the Mormon Ferry at the so-called 
upper crossing of the North Platte east of present Casper. We 
shall now take up the experiences of those who crossed the North 
Platte at various places along the 2 5 -mile stretch of river below 
the Mormon Ferry. First, however, let us amplify the ferry record 
with quotations from diaries that have fortunately become available 
for this study since Part I went to press. 

Until now the record had indicated that the first-comers along 
the trail north of the Platte from Council Bluffs arrived opposite 
Fort Laramie on June 12, 1849. This date is evidently about a 
week too late, for P. C. Tiffany, who encamped on Horse Creek 
June 4, "saw to day for the first time a train of about 16 waggons 
on the other side of the river from Council Bluffs." Two days 
later, after Tiffany crossed the Laramie, he noted in his diary: 
"Just as we arrived here three of the men belonging to the train 
on the other side of the river attempted to swim the platte for the 
purpose of geting a boat to ferry their teams across Two of them 
only reached this side of the river, the other drowned the current 
was to strong for them to stand, they were carried a long way 
down the stream and the two that succeeded in reaching the shore 
was nearly exausted when they reached it."^ This drowning may 
be the one referred to on June 15 by Isaac Foster, who said that 
the train ahead had crossed on the 12th. It is possible that Foster 
was mistaken in the date, or that his train of the 12th was not 
identical with Tiffany's of the 6th, or that the train mentioned by 
Tiffany had an extraordinarily hard time crossing the North Platte 
at Fort Laramie, requiring the better part of a week for the feat. 
We shall have to wait upon some further enlargement of the 

1. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 


It is also to be added, concerning this ferry at Fort Laramie, that 
the diary of PhiHp Badman supplements the letter of John Kip 
previously quoted. Badman wrote on June 25: "we . . . crost 
over the Ferry by paying 11/2 Dollars & doing it ourselves this is 
the way to do business. ... we all got over Safe."- 

The expanded record for the Mormon Ferry on the upper North 
Platte, which we noted to have been located at a point 3 1/2 
miles east of modern Casper, adds welcome details. G. S. Isham, 
on reaching "the Ferry of the North Piatt River" on June 9, 12 
days after the first Forty-niners arrived at that point, termed the 
stream "a deep rapid river, difficult to make your cattle swim it — 
wagons taken over on boats or floats built on three small canoes." 
His party remained until June 11, finally crossing at 6 P. M. that 
day.^ Thus Isham was at the Mormon Ferry during the same time 
as Decker, Boyle, Boggs, Hixson, Pritchard, Pease, and others 
whose experiences have been chronicled. 

Another who came along at this time was Tiffany, whose record 
gratifyingly extends over June 14-15, days for which no diaries 
were previously available. On arriving at the ferry at 10 A. M. 
on June 12, Tiffany "found about 120 teams on the ground before 
us waiting their turn to go on." Next day he recorded, "The wind 
has been unfavorable to day and only about 40 waggons have 
crossed." On June 14: "The teams come in faster than they get 
over — The ferry is kept by some Mormans who came here from 
the Salt Lake this spring. The head man is Charles Shumway. 
They keep a Blacksmith shop for the purpose of repairing waggons 
&c & shoeing oxen Horses & mules in connection with the Ferry — 

"They are trading for & have got collected quantities of provi- 
sions, cattle, waggons. Horses mules cows guns &c in fine they 
buy any thing that they can trade to advantage They charge 3 00 
for crossing every waggon for shoing an ox $4 00 

"E. Briant [Edwin Bryant] Esq. with a train of a 150 packed 
mules arived here to day. There is a temporary Ferry below this 
4 miles, which we learn is crossing teams quite fast We learn 
that their boat capsised to day & drowned three young men from 
Brown Co. Missouri there was also one drowned at the ferry 
on Sunday last [June 10] from the state [James Brown, of 
Howard County, Missouri] .... Our cattle were brought in and 
swum across the river some of our men went over and herded 

On June 15 Tiffany wrote briefly, "There being but six waggons 
to cross before us, by the time our breakfast was out of the way, 

2. Ibid. 

3. G. S. Isham's Guide to California and the Mines and Return by the 
Isthmus with a General Description of the Country (New York, 1850), 
pp. 11-12. 


our turn came and in three hours time our whole train was on 
the north shore of platt — "^ 

A parallel record is that of Charles L'Hommedieu Long, who 
about 11 A. M. on June 13 "reached the Upper Ferry, or Crossing 
of the Platte, and found that that [sic] there were about 250 
wagons encamped near here waiting their turn to be ferried over. 
The Ferry boat consist of a couple of dug-outs, fastened together, 
and puncheons laid across, just large enough to hold one wagon, 
and they are able to Ferry about 75 wagons a day if the wind is 
favorable, if it is not they can not ferry more than 40 or 50. We 
found that we would have to lay here a couple of days, so we 
seized upon the opportunity to wash, and cook." 

Next day he wrote, "We lay at the Ferry, making repair to our 
wagons, having our horses shod &c. &c. Nothing of importance 
happened except that there were 4 men drowned while attempting 
to swim their stock. Bryants Packs came in to-day." And on 
June 15, "We packed up and rolled our wagons up to the Ferry, 
ready to take our turn, which came about noon, by 4 o'clock our 
wagons were all across, and our stock swam over. . . ."'^ 

By this time ferries established below the Mormon Ferry were 
in full operation, but the original facility was still attracting all 
the business it could handle. An example was Edward J. Willis, 
whose company came down out of the Black Hills to the valley 
of the North Platte about 2 P. M. on June 21: "Passed several 
crossings — reached the Deer Creek about 4 o'clock — many cross- 
ing here. 6 men drowned yesterday. Came 5 miles from Deer 
Creek. ..." On June 22 WUhs "nooned where Hedgepeth [B. M. 
Hudspeth] was Crossing. Came on to Mormon Crossing. 20 
miles from Camp [of previous day]. . . . Made arrangement to 
cross tomorrow. Blacksmith shop at this place No grass within 
two miles. Mules herded out among hills. Dry weather for a 
week or ten days. 

"Saturday June 23'* . . . Remained in Camp until 12 o clock 
waiting to be ferried across the river. Waggons rolled to wharf — 
Mules driven across — I went over on guard and assisted in Cairy 
[herding] Mules one & half miles out to grass — Waggons all o^'cr 
by dark."6 

Joseph Hamelin, who came along 10 days later, was at the 
Mormon Ferry during the same time as Lyman Mitchell, Major 
Osborne Cross, and the main force of the Regiment of Mounted 
Riflemen, bound for Fort Hall and Oregon. On July 3 he noted 
in his diary, "Left camp early and made Mormon ferry on N. fork 
of Platte. Here will probably remain several days as the large 

4. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid. 


train of Government are engaged in crossing. . . ." It was not 
until July 6 that he could write: "Commenced crossing the river 
at sunrise & about 5 P. M. had everything over. The ferry here 
is conducted by a body of Mormons, who, by means of a plat form 
placed upon canoes are making more gold in a day than they 
could do [in the mines?] in a week. Their charge to us was 4$ 
per wagon. They can still remain here 6 weeks & have ample 
time to reach their destination, city of the Salt Lake."^ 

The Mormon ferrymen found it circumspect to man their ferry 
only 10 days or so after Hamelin passed by, and latecomers 
crossed at Deer Creek, present Glenrock, Wyoming. 


We now turn back to the situation that arose when, in the 
second week of June, 1849, the overland emigration began to 
pile up behind the bottleneck of the Mormon Ferry. The record 
opens with a resoundingly controversial episode which we ap- 
proach through a letter written by John B. Haslip from Great Salt 
Lake City on July 8: 

"A company built a boat on the platte, and about the time they 
crossed, Mr. Armstrong, of Monroe, and another company, offered 
Capt. Finley, the owner of the boat, $250 [i.e., $50?] for the 
boat. Capt. Finley told them that himself and company had 
crossed, and all others might go to hell, and then cut the boat in 
pieces before their eyes. This Captain Finley is from Illinois, 
and the wretch should be published in every newspaper in the 
U. States. A company from Pennsylvania, the Monroe company, 
and our company, built a boat and after our companies crossed 
we handed it over to the next train that arrived. This Capt. Finley 
is well known on the road from the Platte to California, and will 
be pointed out to every company and hissed at.'"^ 

The hero, if not the villain, of this episode was William Findley, 
who had journeyed overland to Oregon in 1845 and returned two 
years later;'' he headed a company made up chiefly of men from 
Henderson and Mercer counties, Illinois. His defense appears in 
a letter of August 16, 1849, written after reaching California: 

"On our arrival at the north fork of the Piatt I found it necessary 
to ferry the stream; and as the Ferry established at that point was 

7. Ibid. 

8. Palmyra, Missouri Whig, October 4, 1849, reprinted in Dale L. Mor- 
gan, "Letters by Forty-niners written from Great Salt Lake City in 1849," 
Western Humanities Review, vol. 3, April, 1849, p. 101. 

9. Findley 's MS. diary of his journey to Oregon, in the Yale University 
Library, includes a record of his return journey in 1847 as far as the Bear 
River Valley. He was afterwards encountered by the westbound Mormon 
Pioneers at Fort Bridger. 


already thronged with teams, many of which had been in waiting 
several days to cross, we proceeded at once to build boats, as 
being the most expeditious mode of placing ourselves on the 
opposite shore. So well did we succeed in this movement, that we 
effected the whole project in about one day's time. Here an inci- 
dent occurred which I ought not to pass over without noting. 
In swimming our cattle across the stream, two of my men, Milton 
Ritchey and James Westerfield came near being drowned. They 
were engaged on horseback in urging the cattle across the stream, 
but the current was so rapid and powerful, that the horses were 
unable to swim with the riders on them; and being swept down 
and plunged beneath it several times, they left their horses and 
attempted to make the shore by swimming, but they were still less 
able to effect the landing than before. Being chilled and exhausted 
by incessant struggling one of them had lost all consciousness as 
well as action, when Capt. Haines, who commanded a company 
from Ohio, at the peril of his life, plunged into the stream and 
succeeded in rescuing him. Such a noble act should be recorded 
in a more durable form than it can be upon this sheet. The other 
of which was carried by the current upon a bar in the stream and 
was saved. 

"After our crossing was effected, seeing that there were several 
hundred wagons in the vicinity, the teams of which, or the most 
of them, having been recruiting for several days, and knowing that 
the owners were ready to seize the opportunity to cross with our 
boats, should we leave them behind, and by that means get in 
advance of us with their fresh teams, and thus consume the grass 
from our already exhausted cattle, which I knew to be very scarce 
in places. I ordered the boats to be destroyed; which was accord- 
ingly done. I felt myself dictated to this course by a proper regard 
for self -protection. I have thus mentioned this incident as I 
understand some have denounced and condemned that act. . . ."^"^ 

The ethics of Findley's act may be debated now as then. A 
minister, H. J. Brace, who traveled in Findley's company, wrote 
to Findley's father on September 23 : 

"We traveled very pleasantly, 21 wagons in company, until we 
reached the North Piatt river, which had to be ferried. Three men 
were sent a day in advance of the train to the ferry, kept by the 
Mormons, to ascertain when we could cross. Daniel Blackburn 
met us within 4 miles of the ferry, and said we could not cross 
under three days. We made no delay, but followed our Captain to 
the river bank, commenced making a boat, and by the next night 
we had nearly every thing over. The boats, after those that assist 
ed us were over, were destroyed. This circumstance, has been the 
cause of a good deal of bitter feeling, and much malicious threaten- 

10. Oquawka, Illinois, Spectator, October 31, 1849. 


ing by the emigrants in the rear. Reports have been freely cir- 
culated, that Col. Findley had not only cut up his boats, but 
poisoned the grass — burnt up the grass along the road, etc., etc. 
Some have threatened to have his acts published in the States, 
and one or two as they came up have undertaken to abuse him. 
All this, however, I know is without a shadow of a foundation, 
except the cutting of the boats. I thought then that though there 
was no injustice in the act, there was another principle on which I 
should have acted, and left the boats for those behind. But I soon 
saw the necessity of doing as we did. I could not see things as the 
Col. saw them. I knew not the danger we were in at that point, 
but he knew all about it; he felt his responsibility as a man of 
honor should do. Near 60 men had entrusted their lives and 
property, as it were, in his hands; he knew the perils of the journey 
from such a vast emigration. The only chance for success was to 
use all means possible without infringing upon others' rights to 
push ahead. By building the boats, we gave them our place at 
the ferry, which would have taken one whole day to have crossed 
the same waggons. There was a regular ferry kept, and there was 
plenty of timber for more boats, and no injustice was done to any 
man, and I am free to say, to day, that were I in the same position, 
knowing what I now know I should do the same. 

"By making the boats, we got ahead of some 200 teams, and 
this raised a spirit of envy and strife which has been very unpleas- 
ant and mortifying to the Colonel and to myself. . . ."^^ 

This remarkable episode 4 miles below the Mormon Ferry is 
reflected, with additional interesting particulars, in the diary of 
Charles Tinker, a member of the company from Ashtabula, Ohio, 
to which Findley alluded. In an otherwise rather laconic record. 
Tinker wrote on June 1 1 : 

"we arrived at the crossing of Piatt river the Oquawka com- 
pany 22 wagons Capt Findley & Capt McCullouch of the Missourie 
train of 17 wagons were a crossing, they had made some boats 
of their own and were crossing about 4 miles below the mormon 
crossing we tried to get the use of their boats to cross in. they 
said they made them for their own use and calculated to distroy 
them as soon as they got over so as to prevent others from crowd- 
ing them so hard from behind they said they made theirs and if 
we wanted to get over we might do the same, we offered them 
fifty Dollars for the use of it. but to no use so we turned out our 
teams & commenced making one of our own. we had but just got 
to work when we heard the cry of a man a drownding. they had 

11. Ibid., January 9, 1850. Brace, who wrote this letter as one entirely 
unacquainted with Findley's father, went on to discuss the quite different 
actions of Findley at Green River; this part of his letter will be quoted in 
Part III. 


attempted to cross the river on horse back to drive over some 
cattle when their horses got stalled & throwed them off & the river 
ran so swift & water so cold that they could not swim ashore but 
floted down and logded on a bar in water up to their waists and 
would have drownded in a few minutes if we had not saved their 
lives James Haynes & Charles Davis swam into one of them with 
a rope and tied it arround his body and we hauled them ashore, 
by this time we got cut loose and two men rowed it down and 
saved the life of the remaining one. we took them up to our camp 
& nursed them up and keep them till morning when they were able 
to go to their own camp Capt Findley & McCuUouch, felt so 
greatfull to us for our kindness and assistance that it seamed that 
they could not do to much for us. They offered us the use of 
their boats & men to help us over, we accepted their offer and by 
12 O.C. P. M. Tuesday [June 12] we were on the other side of 
the river they said any assistance that they could render us on 
the road would be given freely, their whole company appeared 
to be men of honor. Newton Wood of Oquawka was one of their 
members, by getting acrosst as soon as we did put us ahead of 
about two hundred wagons & give us about three days the satrt 
[start] of those that crossed at the regular ferry they made us 
pledge ourselves to distroy the boats as they intended to do. just 
as we were about acrosst their was a train of wagons under Capt. 
Gallaway of Mercer Co Pa because we would not give the boats 
up to them they thretened to take them away from us by force. 
Some of Findleys men heard the threat and scent word to their 
train which had got about three [miles] from the ferry, they 
ammediately sloped their train & armed seventy men to the teeth 
and marched them to the ferry to protect us and see that the boats 
were distroyed and that we were safe over their was no disturb- 
ance made the boats were distroyed and we traveled 13 m on 
our way to California"^- 

A member of the Gallaway company mentioned by Tinker was 
Alexander Love, though he does not dwell particularly upon the 
drama just related. Having passed Deer Creek on June 1 1 , next 
day Love "Drove 5 miles and it raind a Utile during the day 
Stopd at a ferry Made 3 Canoes got them in the river and Capt. 
Findliy would non [not] let us have his to cross on But Cut them 
in too and Sentt them afloat." On June 13 "Got our ferry in 
order at 10 ock and them [then] went to Crossing got all over 
Safe at 4 ock Drove 5 m. and Campd on the North Side of the 
plait 2 ms. above the Mormon ferry."^^ 

12. Eugene H. Roseboom, ed., "Charles Tinker's Journal, A Trip to 
California in 1849," Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, 
January, 1952, pp. 76-78. 

13. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 


The situation on the upper North Platte was now beginning to 
regularize itself. Those who had crossed at this site 4 miles below 
the Mormon Ferry began selling their rafts or crude ferry boats to 
emigrants who came along behind; and these in turn sold the craft 
at about the same price to later comers when they themselves were 
across the river. In some instances emigrants stayed on at the 
North Platte for a greater or lesser time to turn an honest dollar 
crossing others, but here the psychology of the Gold Rush began 
to work: the nagging sense of being left behind sooner or later 
operated compulsively to launch the "temporary" ferrymen on the 
trail again. 

Also, the main force of the emigration reached the upper North 
Platte in the third week of June, wagons arriving by the hundred 
and the thousand. No imaginable commercial ferry facility could 
have handled the load, and as the emigrants began to appreciate 
the situation, they stopped wherever they could subsist their ani- 
mals after coming down out of the Laramie Mountains or Black 
Hills as then termed and began extemporizing their own ferries. 
By June 20 the Forty-niners were crossing the river at every 
convenient site as far down as Deer Creek. 

Two diarists writing on June 16, Bennett C. Clark and Joseph 
C. Buffum, mention two ferries below the Mormon Ferry, one of 
which was evidently at the Findley site, the other not identifiable, 
but clearly not at Deer Creek. Buffum, who reached Deer Creek 
June 15 and next day moved on up to the Mormon Ferry (where, 
as we have seen, he crossed the river on June 19), noted in his 
diary on the 16th, "The 2 lower ferries being crowded with 200 
waggons we drove to the upper one" (where 300 wagons were 
waiting to be crossed. ^^ Clark wrote on the 16th: "Reached the 
lower platte Ferry about 10 oclk A. M. where we found some 
2 or 300 wagons awaiting their turns to ferry. We understood 
that as many were assembled at the upper ferry. We were lucky 
enough to cross at a new ferry the next day in advance of many 
that had reached the old ferry much sooner than we did."^'' 

One of the best pictures of the situation along the North Platte 
during the next few days is that of Alonzo Delano.^*' He came 
down to the Platte on June 17, and evidently camped about 5 miles 
beyond Deer Creek. During the day, he says, they "learned that 
there was a ferry across the Platte about twelve miles above our 
place of encampment, which we had to cross, and that there were 
hundreds of teams waiting their turns, and that several days must 

14. MS. diary in California State Library. 

15. Ralph P. Bieber, ed., "Diary of a Journey from Missouri to Cali- 
fornia in 1849," Missouri Historical Review, vol. 22, October, 1928, pp. 
21-22. Clark's MS. diary is in the Yale University Library. 

16. Alonzo Delano, Life on the Plains and Among the Diggings (Auburn 
and Buffalo, 1854), pp. 85-9 L 


elapse before ours would come. In addition to this agreeable 
news, we were told that the grass in that vicinity was exhausted, 
and that many cattle were dying for want of food." He added, 
under date of June 1 8 : "crossing was effected by means of ferries 
of a somewhat primitive character, and it was desirable to ascertain 
something relative to the means and chances for getting to the 
opposite bank. It was decided, by a consultation the previous 
evening, that Mr. [J. H.] Fredenburg and myself should ride on 
this morning and find out how the transit was to be made." 

Accordingly, about sunrise of the 1 8th, Delano set off. "Within 
about three miles of the ferry, we observed a company of men 
building a raft on the river bank, half a mile from the road; and, 
riding down, we ascertained that we could have the use of it after 
they had ferried their own train, with two or three others. This 
might detain us a day, and it was judged expedient for me to ride 
on to the ferry, to see what chance there was there of gaining 
time;" and I therefore rode forward, while Mr. Fredenburg re- 
mained, to stop our train when it should come, until I reported. 
On arriving at the ferry I found about two hundred and fifty 
wagons, among which were Captain [C. M.] Tutt's and the 
Dowdle family, from South Bend, waiting their turn to cross, 
while the number was augmenting by constant arrivals every 
moment. About four miles still farther up was another ferry, es- 
tablished by the Mormons. I learned that there was quite as 
many, perhaps more emigrants, to cross at that point than here, 
so that our turn would not come for several days; and I judged 
that our quickest way would be to try the raft below. I found 
that at least forty head of cattle were lying dead near the ferry, 
from the effects of drinking alkaline water and want of food. . . . 

"The mode of ferrying was by lashing three small canoes 
together, which were sufficiently buoyant to sustain the weight of 
an empty wagon. A rope long enough to reach across the river 
was fastened to each end, and a number of men on each side 
pulled it back and forth, the strong current making it slow and 
laborious work. Each company furnished its own ropes, and 
performed all the labor, and for the use of the canoes paid five 
dollars each wagon. The proprietor of the ferry was from New 
Orleans, and a melancholy incident will appear in its proper place 
with regard to him, which occurred soon after we crossed the river. 
When he reached this point, thinking it a speculation, he resolved 
to stop and establish a ferry for a time — sending his family on, 
with the intention of overtaking them. He was coining money in 
the operation.^" While I was there, a man was drowned by falling 

17. In his book Delano wrote, pp. 274-275: "... I have spoken of a 
Mr. Henderson, who was emigrating with his family to California, and 
who, after establishing a ferry on the North Fork of the Platte, sent his 


out of the canoe, being swept down by the swift current. The 
cattle, horses, and mules, were swum over to the opposite bank, 
and very few accidents occurred to them, though occasionally one 
was drowned by being carried to where the bank was too steep 
to get out. 

"I rode back to the raft, and found our train just arrived, and 
all hands making preparations for crossing. A rope was attached 
to each end of the raft, in the same manner as to the canoes, and 
it was found capable of sustaining the weight of a loaded wagon, 
while thirty or forty men on each side pulled it back and forth quite 
expeditiously, and with perfect safety. The work went briskly on 
for awhile. By some mismanagement, however, one of the ropes 
was broken before our turn came, after crossing thirteen wagons; 
and all attempts to get the line across again that night, proved 
abortive. Our train was thus compelled to remain on the south 
bank till morning." 

On June 19, as Delano continues his story: "There were many 
trains congregated here, and the number increased hourly — it hav- 
ing been understood that means of crossing existed, poor as it was. 
As there was but one raft, and the line was not yet replaced, con- 
siderable delay was occasioned. Many men showed much hardi- 
hood in swimming the strong current, in their endeavors to carry 
the line across; and it appeared that the success of the previous day 
was more the effect of good luck in this respect than a want of 
energy. All trials this morning were abortive, when Brown, of 
our mess, mounted a strong horse, and at length succeeded by great 
effort in carrying the rope to the opposite shore, and by noon it 
was again ready. It was stretched to an island, from which to 
the main shore was a ford that could be passed without much 

family on, intending to overtake them in a few days. I found his wife a 
resident of Dawlytown [CaHfornia]. . . . From her own Hps I received the 
following sad tale. 

"The time set for the appearance of her husband had already passed, 
when one day the two men who were engaged with him at the ferry rode 
up to the train, and without going to see Mrs. Henderson, informed some 
of the company that he was detained behind in settling some matters, and 
would overtake them the next day, and hastily rode on. But the next day 
passed, and the next — still he did not come. Her anxiety and alarm began 
to increase, and as time winged its flight day after day, and still her 
husband did not appear, the uncertainty of his fate, and the helplessness 
of her condition, produced a state of feeling and wretchedness bordering 
on frenzy. By degrees the opinion was formed that he was murdered, 
and she left among strangers, upon a barren wilderness, with her two 
helpless children. . . . She reached the settlements in safety, and with 
acquaintances went to Dawlytown, where, opening a little hotel, she not 
only supported herself, but made considerable money. She afterwards 
went to Stringtown, and subsequently was housekeeper for Doctor Wil- 
loughby, near Yateston, on Feather River, where she died, leaving her 
children to Doctor W.'s care." 


difficulty. The crossing proceeded well; but a little after noon the 
wind blew a gale, and the wagon covers acted as sails. The raft 
being confined by the rope, frequently dipped so much that the 
wagons were in danger of sliding off into the stream. Seeing this, 
I removed the cover from my wagon, as did many others, and 
they were ferried over in perfect safety. One man, from New 
Jersey, neglected this, in spite of the remonstrances of his friends, 
and when in the middle of the river, the wind against his wagon 
cover acted like a lever, raising one side of the raft till the wagon 
slid off into the water. It floated down about half a mile, when 
a sharp turn in the river brought it to the bank. Two wheels were 
secured, out of which he rigged a cart, and saved a portion of his 
provisions — though in a damaged state, not utterly ruined. He 
had to deplore his carelessness, without much sympathy from those 

"The supreme selfishness of men was exhibited in a palpable 
manner here. Our men worked very hard yesterday, in helping 
two mule trains across the river, on their assurance that they would 
reciprocate this morning, by assisting us. No sooner were they 
across, than like the lying fox in the fable — who, at the bottom of 
the well, persuaded the foolish goat to come down, that he might 
climb out on his horns — they hitched up their teams and drove off, 
leaving us chagrinned at their faithlessness, and vexed at our 
credulity. Instead of following their example, our men toiled on 
to aid those who assisted us, and it was not till night-fall that we 
all met on the main shore, where our tents were pitched. Our 
cattle swam across safely to the island, and on the main shore we 
found a plat of grass — better than we had seen for many days. . . ." 

Delano had not mentioned Deer Creek, but many were en- 
camped there when he passed by on the 17th, and as the grass 
was exhausted, newcomers had to go ever farther up the creek to 
find feed for their animals. As early as June 16, when George P. 
Burrall reached Deer Creek, he found so many encamped that he 
had to travel 3 miles up the creek to find good feed. First resting 
a day, during which time Delano went on past, he struck west- 
wardly across the bluffs to the Platte, and after traveling 15 miles 
"halted at 10 o'clock, where a raft was just finished by some 
lUinoians with whom we joined in and rafted our wagons across. 
The rope broke about 5 o'clock, and after several ineffectual 
attempts to get it across again, we made one desperate effort and 
got it across, but broke it again, as there was not men enough to 
keep up the slack, current of the river being very swift here. We 
had some men show out human nature. ..." On the 19th "At 
an early hour we succeeded in getting our rope across and got our 
wagons over in safety by 9-30."^^ It is probable Burrall's party 
crossed in association with Delano's, the site and circumstances 
sounding much the same, and the latter one of a company from 
Ottawa, Illinois. 


A briefer record is that of Tipton Lindsey, who on June 17 
traveled to a point somewhere above Deer Creek, and on the 1 8th 
went on another 12 miles to "the Ferry on North Piatt. . . . The 
Boat consisted of three logs Dug out & pined together we had to 
wait our turn Commenced Ferrying at 7 in the evening & con- 
tinued till midnight." It was 2 A. M. on June 19 before Lindsey 's 
party finished the crossing. ^'^ 

Robert Bond, whose fate, it is said was to die on reaching Great 
Salt Lake City, kept so laconic a diary that it cannot be determined 
from it where he crossed the river, but after saying on June 18 
that his party "came to the crossing swam the cattle with diffi- 
culty," he adds on the 19th, "Crossed on a raft lost a waggon." 
Bond traveled in the same company with Charles Gray, who 
writes much more feelingly of the loss of the wagon mentioned 
by Delano and Bond. Like Burrall, Gray had reached Deer Creek 
June 1 6, gone up it several miles to find grass, lay by a day, and on 
the 18th: "After a travel of 13 miles . . . encamped on the banks 
of the Platte, opposite to a large island & from information received 
heard there were 2 or 300 wagons ahead of us at the ferry 14 
miles distant waiting to cross, and as they cross'* at the rate of 
about 40 or 50 pr day, we saw it would take a long time before 
we should be able to get over. So we determined to seek a ford, 
as we met teams returning from the ferry for that purpose. The 
river where we stop'* formed a bend, the current being Swift and 
the water deep. We found a train who had nearly all cross"^ to 
the island, so we made an arrangement to help them & their friends 
who were to come up on the next day & then they were to help us, 
quite a saving to us besides as they charged $5 pr wagon at the 
ferry. We had arrived early in the afternoon, and till dark wagons 
were constantly passing us, proceeding to the ferry. . . . 

"19 . . . The train who were ahead of us were passing over 
till 1 Oclock — all safely — at length came our 'debut' & 4 wagons 
were cross'* in safety, the wind which all the day had been quiet 
now arose, such as we only see it on these plains & hills & the 
5th wagon, one of our train, fill'* with valuable articles of the mess 
(& who by the by had neglected to remove the wagon cover) 
when about 50 yards from us capsized with everything on board. 
Luckily I had a rope in my hand & being on the side where the 
current drove the wagon, I ran at the top of my speed along the 
bank of the river Calling out 'who can swim? who can swim?' 
when one of our party just ahead of me giving me his watch & 
boots plunged into the water & made the rope fast to the bows 
& just had time to hand it to the men on the bank. The fore- 

18. Transcript of MS. diary in Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois. 

19. MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

20. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 


wheels now broke loose & the body drifted on till within 10 feet 
of the shore when I (the 2'^ one) plunged in just as the bows 
came out of the wagon & fortunately Saved a trunk of one of the 
mess & getting my feet fast in the sand came near being jammed 
under by the back of the wagon, as it resulted, we got the wagon 
body, one hind wheel, the flour (all wet) and the guns which 
were fastened to the bows, & their trunk, all the rest clothing, 
provisions, tent, blankets, cooking apparatus, &c. were all lost! 
One other wagon came so near upsetting that we wouldn't have 
given a pin for it but it luckily reach'* the shore in Safety. At 
length at about 9 O'clock we were all landed on the island & the 
wet & cold & hungry men were 'legion,' not only in name, but in 
reality — many camp fires were instantly lighted & we had with 
our friends, the largest camp we ever had. After a plentiful 
supply of coffee (which was in great demand,) & meat & bread 
we all turned in & being isolated so completely no guard was kept 
by any of us. The shore for 20 yards from the 'landing' was cover'' 
with all kinds of baggage & implements & the Scene resembled 
the confusion incident upon a great fire in a city by the disorder & 
confusion of everything around. After our hard & exciting day & 
work we all slept soundly & well. . . . 

"20 . . . According to arrangement we were to stay this morn- 
ing & help our friends over, some had 5 wagons So we went to 
work & yesterdays & todays work severely blister'* my hands in 
many places; a great part of the time being engaged pulling on the 
rope (which was fasten** to the raft) & which being covered with 
sand cut in pretty well when we took hold of it. It was about 10 
O'clock when we got done & we left all our ropes to be brought 
on to us by the wagons behind us, as we had to take the ropes 
on to the wagons ahead of us. In crossing from the island to 
the main land we put all the kegs & barrels & boxes in the wagon 
& put all the provisions & baggage on top of them to guard them 
from the water, as it was it was not quite deep enough to do us 
any damage & we all arrived safely on the opposite shore by noon 
nearly worn out by our 1/2 a days work. . . ."-^ 

Another of these rafting operations, but farther down the river, 
was described by John Markle. Markle reached Deer Creek 
June 17, lay by to let his team recruit, then on the 19th "traveled 
about 5 miles across the the [sic] Bluffs to the north fork, and 
there was three other Pittsburg wagons led by Captain Taylor, 
who told us that there was 800 wagons up at the ferry and if we 

21. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. That Bond and Gray 
traveled as far as Salt Lake in the same company I have only determined 
since the appearance of my Overland Diary of James A. Pritchard, and the 
comprehensive bibliography and chart of the diarists of 1849 published in 
that work do not so state. 


would Stop, and help them build a raft that they would help us 
across we went to work, and by Sunset we had three wagons 
across, and all our mules Swam over the process was very 
laborious, as we had to take our wagons, all apart." By noon on 
the 20th, the rest of the wagons were over and ready to start. 
According to his subsequent travel, Markle had rafted across the 
North Platte about 18 miles below the Mormon Ferry, only a 
few miles above the mouth of Deer Creek. -- 

Evidently a little lower down, 2 miles above Deer Creek, Amos 
Josselyn's company on June 19 fell to work making "dug-outs to 
ferry across. We worked all day in company with another com- 
pany and got three dug-outs into the water by evening." On 
June 20, Josselyn says, "Got our dug-outs lashed together and 
found that they were not sufficient to carry our heaviest wagons, 
and while a part of us were ferrying the light wagons, the balance 
went to work at another dug-out, and got it into the water by the 
middle of the afternoon. We then found our boat sufficient to 
carry any of our wagons. We got but 10 wagons over today." 
The crossing was completed on the 21st.-'^ 

Many Forty-niners describe the extraordinary scene developing 
near the mouth of Deer Creek, and we shall take up their accounts 
in turn. Gurdon Backus, on June 20, encamped on Deer Creek 
and called it "a fine Stream of pure water, & where the Bank of 
the Platte with several waggons were crossing in 'dugouts' or 
rafts. — Some in their waggon Beds built Boat form ... we are 
all about 25 miles from the upper ferry made arrangements to 
cross here in morning 

"Nine oclock Eve determined to cross to night & by hard work 
in pulling & rowing we got our waggons all safely over before 
sunrise I worked in watter waist deep nearly all night in fact 
I was nearly exausted 

"Thursday June 21 hot all day. After geting our waggons 
once more packed & our stock all over the River we left Camp it 
being about 3 P. M. . . ."-■' 

A more enlightening record for these two days is that of William 
J. Watson, one of the few Oregon-bound emigrants traveling amid 
the goldseekers. Early on the morning of June 20 he crossed 
Deer Creek, "which is forty feet wide, and from two to four feet 
deep: very good water; gravel bottom. Here hundreds of wagons 
were waiting to cross, and men were employed in making rafts. 
At this place a man was unfortunately drowned in attempting to 
swim his mule across. He was from Tennessee; his name I did 

22. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. For Markle see also 
Part L p. 23. 

23. MS. diary in California State Library. 

24. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 


not learn." Watson chose not to cross at Deer Creek, but instead 
went on another 14 miles, "Grass very scarce; water poor," and 
on the 21st, "going two miles up the river we came to a ferry 
where we succeeded in crossing five of our wagons before dark; 
we crossed the remaining two in the morning. Our ropes broke 
twice in crossing, and the canoes upset once, but fortunately no 
person was in them. The teams above and below upset very 
often. They floated by every little while. Several men were 
drowned, and came floating down; one was taken out and buried; 
he had about his person sixty-three dollars and a brace of pistols. 
At this place were three dead oxen, and above us, up the river 
were sixty head which had died from drinking alkali water, which 
was in ponds on all the low places, which we had carefully to 
avoid with our cattle."-'' Watson probably crossed a mile or two 
below the Findiey site. 

Four members of a company from Illinois, Joseph Hackney, 
Charles Alexander Kirkpatrick, Henry Tappan, and Henry Page, 
combine to give us a graphic picture of the scene at Deer Creek 
on June 19-20, and they with others describe the drowning of the 
young man, Drenner or Drennan, variously stated to have come 
from Tennessee, Virginia, or St. Clairsville, Ohio. 

Hackney writes on the 19th: "we came on and crossed deer 
creek and camped on the bank of the river this is the place wear 
we are to cross at we are a going to make canoes to take our 
wagons over with out unloading they are a crossing here now 
on rafts takeing thiere wagons to peaces and make two trips for 
one wagon and load we havy plenty of wood but poor grass." 
On the 20th, "this has been a busy day we went to work in the 
morning and by three oclock in the afternoon had made three 
large canoes twenty four feet long and two feet over we put 
them in the river and floated them down to camp we then lashed 
them all togeather the two outsied ones just far enough apart 
to let the wheels in we then took thirty men abourd and took a 
trip acrost the river she went first rate it was two late to com- 
mence crossing to day so we tied up for the night we found good 
grass three miles from her[e] and drove the cattel to it Thiere 
was five men drownded here to day four of them were drown 
by a raft upseting the other one was trying to swim a mule over 

25. William J. Watson, Journal of an Overland Journey to Oregon, 
Made in the Year 1849; with a full and accurate account of the route . . . 
(Jacksonville, Illinois, 1851), p. 18. 

26. As we shall see, several of the diarists refer to the unfortunate 
emigrant who attempted to swim a mule across the river, but only Willis 
and John Prichet join Hackney in referring to the larger tragedy. While 
passing Deer Creek en route to the Mormon Ferry on June 21, he was told 
that "6 men had been drowned the day before by the upsetting of a raft." 
See his MS. diary in Indiana State Library. 


the river."-*' On June 21: "crossed our wagons all over safe 
had a hard days work was in the water all day long after we 
crossed over we sold our boat for twenty dollars. . . . our cattel 
were drove up and swam over before night had some trouble get- 
ting them started over."-" 

Kirkpatrick observes concerning the events of the 20th: "All 
hands busy today making canoes etc. in order to cross the Platte. 
Our company determined to cross from the mouth of Deer Creek 
on account of there being so many teams at the ferry above. A 
strange sight it is to see hundreds of men far from home and 
civilization camped on the banks of a river; some with rafts some 
with canoes lashed together, others with their wagon beds caulked, 
others, more provident, with sheet iron boats and all going with a 
perfect rush to see who will get across first and who will reach 
the land of gold first. Already within our hearing today twelve 
[ ! ] men have found a watery grave while crossing with their stock 
and effects; and yet this makes no impression on the survivors. "-"^ 

Tappan's brief account-" we for bear quoting, but Henry Page's 
remarks, written to his wife from South Pass on July 2, must be 
noticed. "We came on from [Fort Laramie] . . . without any 
trouble & up the Platte to the place of crossing to the North Side 
without any hinderance — We have great numbers (some hundreds 
of trains) encamped either waiting their turn at the Mormon Ferry, 
or putting themselves across in various ways — some on rafts — 
some in canoes — & some in their wagon beds, made tight by 
corking — We camped 25 miles east of the Ferry & found out 
that we could save time & expense & at the same time have good 
feed for our cattle, by making boats & ferrying ourselves across — 
Our company numbers 52 men with 15 wagons & by the next 
night we had made & securly lashed together, rigged with oars, 
three large canoes — each 25 feet long & made of large trees — 
In the morning we made an experiment & found out that 30 men 
would not sink it very deep in the water — We then loaded the 
boats with all the chains & yokes of the company & made our first 
trip across this swift & deep river. The next trip we rolled a 
wagon, all loaded, on board & made a successful trip & in like 
manner till all were over — We finished about 4 oclock of this 
same day (the 22") and then swam our cattle & horses over — I 
was in the water all day, up to my thighs, towing up the boat so 
that we could make the landing at the right place — On one side 

27. Hackney's diary is printed in its entirety in Elizabeth Page, IVagons 
West (New York, 1930); for the quotations here, see pp. 150-151. 

28. MS. transcript of diary in Bancroft Library. Kirkpatrick's record 
of days in his diary to July 15 got one day off, and is here corrected. 

29. See the diary as edited by Everett Walters and George B. Strother 
in Annals of Wyoming, vol. 25, July, 1953, pp. 113-139. 


of the river (where I was stationed viz the north side) we towed 
up, wading on a bar, on the south side they towed up, on the bank 
— The men were about equally divided on each side of the river, 
& all hands worked like good fellows — in towing the boat, and 
rolling on & off the wagons by hand. . . ."■'^'^ 

Vincent E. Geiger, traveling as one of a company from western 
Virginia, arrived at Deer Creek on June 20. Crossing the creek, 
they "went down to the River, where we found several hundred 
wagons, which were to be crossed there. Our Captain determined 
on crossing at this point. We lashed our two sheet iron bodies 
together, & after unloading our wagons, commenced crossing the 
river with our luggage &c. It took us until after night, several 
times our boat washing below the landing. A young man named 
Drenner, from St. Clairsville, Ohio, in attempting to swim a mule 
over the river, was thrown off & drowned. Seven men have been 
drowned in attempting to cross the river in the last week. One 
wagon went on a raft several miles before it could be stopped. . . . 
Several hundred wagons here, busy at work crossing day & 

A parallel record is that of William Chamberlain, who on June 
19 found at Deer Creek "a great no of waggons making prepara- 
tions to cross to the North Side — are informed that several hundred 
waggons are now waiting at the ferry (10 miles above ) made 
arrangements with a Co. who were preparing a raft of 2 dugouts 
with a log between lashed to take us over in the morning. . . ." 
On June 20: "had our baggage taken over the river — I went over 
with it & carried it over a steep sand hill some 6 or 8 rods to a 
grass platt a work of about 2 hours having to rest after every 
load [he had been very sick the previous day] — The Scene today 
is a very interesting one — hundreds of men at work some pre- 
paring rafts — others up to their waists in the water towing them 
up some taking waggons to pieces, some getting them together & 
reloading — about 80 waggons are now in the south side waiting 
to cross — 5 rafts are making all haste in ferrying — cattle are 
swimming about in the river refusing to cross & constantly turning 
back — train after train going up the road to the ferry — all present 
an appearance of life & activity seldom exerted in any civilized 
part of the world. ... A Mr. Drennan of Ver. [Virginia] was 

30. Elizabeth Page, op. cit., pp. 155-156. 

31. David Morris Potter, ed., Trail to California, The Overland Journal 
of Vincent Geiger and Wakeman Bryarly (New Haven, 1945), pp. 111-112. 
A somewhat similar account is given by Benjamin Hoffman of the same 
company, whose diary, edited by C. H. Ambler, is printed in West Virginia 
History, vol. 3, October, 1941, pp. 59-75. Another member of this Virginia 
party, Edward Mcllhany, erroneously remembered in his Recollections of a 
49er (Kansas City, 1908), p. 18, that they were able to ford the river by 
using ten mules to a wagon. 


drowned nearly oposite to where I was sitting in attempting to 
swim a mule — '"•^- 

The tale is repetitious, but cumulative in its impact, and we 
shall go on describing crossings by emigrants who arrived in the 
Deer Creek area at this time. Prince Allen Athearn, who arrived 
June 20, commented: "Here emigrants commenced ferrying the 
North Branch of the Platte. Virginia Company had a man 
drowned in crossing [another reference to Drennan or Drenner]. 
Continued up 2 1/2 miles farther and encamped for the purpose 
of crossing. . . ." On June 21-22 Athearn remained in camp, 
waiting to cross, and finally succeeded "Friday evening late" — 
that is, on June 22.'''* 

Sheldon Young encamped on Deer Creek June 21, then on 
June 22 "Went six miles and struck the Platte River," finding 
"about two hundred teams here waiting to get across." Whether 
applying to that day or the next is not clear (pages of his diary 
are lost), but he adds, "This day we moved two miles up the 
river and waited for a raft. We have gotten our cattle across in 
safety. Six men have been drowned here this spring. There was 
a raft capsized here today. Three men came near being drowned 
that was on the raft. Their rafts were made of three or four 
canoes fastened together. "-^^ 

Israel Hale was another who reached the Deer Creek area on 
June 21. "After dinner," he writes, "we heard that a ferry was 
established near and we went up to see. We learned that eight 
hundred wagons were in waiting at the upper or Mormon ferry 
and that the cattle were dying there also. But we could not cross 
at the new ferry, but concluded to try and ferry it on a raft and 
with wagon beds. We therefore drove up to the place and com- 
menced preparatory to cross on the morrow. . . . The 22nd. was 
a busy day. We obtained a raft ready-made and situated two of 
the best wagon beds and corked them, fitted them out with oars 
for boating. The raft was composed of four cottonwood logs 
with four binders strongly pinned to them. Thus equipped we 
commenced operations about nine o'clock in the morning. The 
river was three hundred yards wide and the boats and raft could 
make a trip in forty-five minutes, strong as the current was. The 
raft was towed up by oxen but the boats by manuel labor for you 
may well suppose that a craft of that kind could not go straight 

32. MS. diary in California State Library. 

33. Lovelia Athearn, ed., "The Log Book of P. A. Athearn," The Pacific 
Historian, vol. H, November, 1958, p. 10. 

34. Transcript of MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library; printed in 
major part in Margaret Long, The Shadow of the Arrow (Caldwell, Idaho, 
1941); see p. 246. 


"When we commenced crossing with the boats a company of 
us swum the cattle over except the four yoke we kept for towing 
purposes. And a Httle after sunset we landed the last of the goods 
on the north side of the river. A few men, however, were left 
that stopped to swim the towing steers. I was among them which 
made it about dark when we got across. And just as I expected, 
everything was in confusion. 

"My goods were in one place, my wagons in another, tent in 
another; the cattle were scattered; and the horse to take out some 
distance and picket out — and it was just about dark when we 
landed, and we very much fatigued, after such a day's labor. But 
we succeeded in getting things a little together and about eleven 
o'clock crept into our wagons and soon fell in a sound sleep. . . ."^''' 

Charles Parke, who reached Deer Creek on June 22, says: "On 
arriving at the Platte we found its bottom Covered with Emigrant 
Waggons and Cattle Most of them Anxious to cross & many 
Crossing on a flat-boat Made by lashing three Canoes togather 
and cross tying with logs — the cattle were un-yoked and made to 
swim across. . . . There are two Black Smith Shops her[e] — 
Mormons I think — Shoeing Horses and Oxen."-'" Parke went on 
up to the Mormon Ferry, and we do not learn from him whether or 
not the blacksmith shops below actually were operated by Mor- 
mons. The probability is not, certainly not as a detachment from 
the group operating the Mormon Ferry proper, but we shall 
observe some further references to Mormons in the Deer Creek 
area toward the tag-end of the emigrating season. Parke's obser- 
vation, in any event, is the first record of blacksmiths in business 
below the Mormon Ferry site. 

Turning for the moment to the ferries higher up the river, we 
find Isaac J. Wistar on June 22 arriving at the Findley site, 
4 miles below the Mormon Ferry. Echoing the observation of 
Willis the same day, he says: "Overtook the Missouri train of 47 
wagons and 200 men, guided by [Benoni Morgan] Hudspeth, 
the famous mountain man, which left Independence several days 
before us. They are crossing on rafts of cotton wood and a kind 
of Noah's Ark — half raft, half a scow. We camped nearby . . . 
[and began] cutting off the end of our heaviest wagon, and 
shortening the coupling. . . ." On June 23 Wistar "Commenced 
crossing at noon today, and finished after dark, without serious 
accident; then kindling a beacon for the mules, and starting them 

35. Israel F. Hale, "Diary of Trip to California in 1849," Society of 
California Pioneers Quarterly, vol. 2, June, 1925, pp. 83-84. See also 
Part I, p. 24. 

36. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 


in a long distance above the coming-out place on the other side, 
we swam them all without loss. . . ."^' 

Burrelle W. Evans, who reached Deer Creek on the 21st, wrote 
on the 23rd: "we bought a Boat and crossed the North fork of 
Piatt without much difficulty there are a great number of eme- 
grants here waiting to cross, some making rafts of cotton wood 
and crossing on them some fixing there waggon beds and crossing 
in them ther ware several men drowned here there being such a 
rush to git a head we lay at this place on this night not all getting 
over and worked till after night." Next morning, June 24, "we 
finished Crossing the river. . . ."•^'^ 

The recurring tale of drownings, not always definite, is told 
also in a letter A. J. Huestis wrote his father from the Sweetwater 
on July 4; he said his company "succeeded in conquering the 
Black Hills" on June 23, and "On hearing that the upper Platte 
ferry, kept by some Mormons, and about 30 miles above us, was 
blocked up with 900 teams, we resolved on an experiment, and 
crossed the Platte with all our loading, in boats made out of our 
wagonbeds, and met with no disaster. But at least a dozen persons 
were drowned near us."-^-' 

A close brush with disaster was recorded by Elijah Bryan Farn- 
ham, who on June 23 "camped 1 1-2 miles above where Fish 
[Deer] Creek empties into the Piatt Our company in conjunction 
with the Hebron Com bought a ferry boat to ferry our waggons 
across gave 30 dollars for [it] another co. were to have it for 
the same money when [we] were through and thus it went from 
[one] to another There is an Encampment of 5000 on fish creek 
There to cross Swam our cattle 

"24th This morning our com commenced ferrying across and 
got all of our company waggons across [in] safety Our ferry boat 
was four dug outs lashed side by side after getting our waggons 
across started across with a waggon belonging to a Mr. Fall that 
was accompaning us When in line distance of the opposite shore 
the man that was to throw the line could not easily get it up on 
account of articles being laid on it The swift current of the stream 
still kept taking the boat down it struck on a rock and capsised 
Throwed out the waggon and other articles There were 6 men 
in the boat 3 got out immediately onto land and the other 3 on 
top of the waggon bed that had separated from the running part 
And J. B. who with speed went down the stream J. B. was rescued 
When near the shore after having given up all hope and when his 

37. Autobiography of Isaac Jones Wistar, 1827-1905 (Philadelphia, 1914, 
2 vols.; republished, two separate editions, Philadelphia and New York, 
1937, 1 vol., where this quotation occurs on pp. 88-89). 

38. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

39. Burlington, Iowa, Hawkeye, October 4, 1849. 


physical strength had failed by a man swimming in from the bank 
and extending a stick for him to take hold of The other two that 
were on the waggon bed were rescued by a horseman riding in and 
throwing a lasso to them J. E. one of the men had went down the 
stream a shouting not for joy but for help and continued so . . . 
till he got it The canos that had floted 1 1/2 miles down the 
stream we had to get apart by cutting the lashing drag them out 
on the ferry Fall lost the running gear to his waggon but got 
another that was left deserted We lost some of our yokes and 
log chains we recovered the yokes and found chains that had been 
thrown away by a Com that had been overstocked [June] 25th 
Had the boat repaired and underway at 7 O C in the morning 
About 2 O C in the P M the Hebron Com got across A man 
belonging to the Ashland Com was drownded to day While swim- 
ming a horse across The 3 last days have been verry hot."^" 

Another vivid description of this time and place is given by 
Joseph Warren Wood. On the 21st his company "took an early 
start & came on 12 miles to the mouth of Deer creek, where we 
found teams crossing the Platte, where there were 4 boats made 
by attaching 2 dug outs together, they charged 3.00 per Wagon, 
the Oxen were swum. They had been made by emigrants, who 
crossed & went on, while others would buy their rights & so 
continue the work. ... a man was drowned here yesterday & 
just above (12 miles) 7 men have been drouned in 2 days. While 
rafting over their wagons. . . . We have driven the Wagons on 
to the bank of the Stream & the Cattle over the hills to the S. & 
are waiting four our turns to come in crossing. 

"Frid 22nd. We were aroused early, & in good season com- 
menced crossing our Wagons. The Levee for 2 miles along shore 
presented as busy an aspect as it ordinary does at St. Louis or 
any other little town in the States. Wagons lay in pieces. Boxes, 
goods Chatties, Traps & plunder of all kinds lay in piles, & many 
hands were busy in carrying it aboard of the Boat. Our Ship 
was called the 2 Pollies & Betsey, there being 2 canoes & a log 
between. We joined forces with 1 2 Cincinnatti Mule Trains & 
the Boat walked of in style, with 30 men to cordelle it against the 

"The men were obliged to work in water on the North side, 
which rendered it quite unpleasant. By 4 O'clock P. M. we were 
across & drove our Oxen down to swim 

"We worked until dark in the water but with all our efforts 
we could not get but 3 to cross. We waded & swam in the cold 
water all the time & at last let them return to the shore. We 
watched them until morning. 

40. Merrill J. Mattes and Esley J. Kirk, eds., Indiana Magazine of 
History, vol. 46, September, 1950, p. 314. 


■'The water is remarkably swift deep & cold, the coldness is 
probably owing to our proximity to the mountain snows. . . . 

"Sat. 23'''^. again resumed our Labour, by recrossing the River, 
for the purpose of crossing our Teams, but with no better success 
than the day before — here we witnessed a Scene, far surpassing 
any thing the imagination ever conceived fancy for one moment 
our feelings, on reflecting the vast distance from settlements and 
seeing the vast amount of Oxen, mules, waggons, and horses, 
mixed indiscriminately with men. Clothed, half clad and naked 
rushing in, to the imminent danger of loosing men and Teams, the 
swift and long to be remembered crossing the Platte no pen can 
fully Depict or pencil portray the Scene as it really was, suffice it 
we succeeded in crossing our Teams about 1 2 Oclock M — without 
further loss, than the extreme exhaustion of our Men, and Teams. 
We witnessed Sights laughable & alarming in such close succession 
& connexion as to keep us continually excited in an unusual man- 
ner. In one place were 6 men being towed ashore, all hanging from 
the tail of one mule & a rider on him at that; while in another they 
were making extreme efforts to save a man who was drowning. 
A Boat sank with a wagon containing women & children, but 
struck a bar & was saved. I was carried by the current outside 
of the jam of Cattle & saved my self by catching the tail of one 
as I passed him. & letting him tow me ashore. But the Scenes 
are over & we shall long remember the crossing of the Upper 
Platte. . . r'' 

The tumult and the shouting emerge from other diaries, Isaac 
Foster's, for one. On June 22 he wrote, "Found a ferry at the 
mouth of Deer creek and hundreds of teams gathered in around 
the creek; in the space of a few miles were several ferries; stream 
rapid and difficult to ferry; several men drowned at one place by 
the upsetting of raft in the current, and 5 more in attempting to 
ride and drive over a lot of horses and mules; one accidentally 
shot; another shot through the heart in a quarrel. . . ." On the 
23rd he added: "Made 8 miles and ferried the river; found a 
Will Co. [Illinois] man by the name of George R. Codding tending 
ferry at $2.00 per wagon; game is exceedingly plenty; one man 
said he saw 30 antelopes at a time and a lot of buffalo; found 
fine particles of gold in the sand of the river (afterwards found to 
be isinglass)." And on the 24th, "many accidents happened to 
emigrants crossing the ferries; 24 men drowned and killed; one 
shot accidentally and two intentionally."^- 

By contrast, James Tate's diary is a chronicle of peace and 
quiet. On June 21 he reached Deer Creek; next day "Commenced 

41. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 

42. See his diary printed in The Foster Family (Santa Barbara, 1925), 
pp. 34-35. 


preparing for crossing dug three canoes and formed a boat"; on 
the 23rd "commenced crossing about 2 Oclock. Crossed a Wag- 
gon at two Loads taking the wheels off"; and on the 24th "Finished 
crossing by 3 Oclock all safe ten waggons (crossed our cattle 
on friday all safe and found very fine grass on the other shore) 
The stream is very rapid and deep at this time being solen 
[swollen] considerably and is about 400 yds wide. We sold our 
boat for 20$ Dollars to another company who over Loaded it 
and sank it with the Load."^"^ 

John H. Benson, as we have seen, crossed the North Platte on 
June 26-27 at the Mormon Ferry, but his experiences and observa- 
tions before that time contribute much to this panoramic picture 
of the summer's happenings. On reaching Deer Creek June 23, 
he "found the emigrants crossing the river in wagon beds, rafts, 
canoes, etc. It is 25 [sic] miles to the regular ferry. I under- 
stand a man and a mule were drowned here today. The country 
seems to be covered with camps, but little for the cattle to eat. . . . 
Here we found the Bloomington Iowa company crossing; also the 
Red Rock company. I think 500 wagons are within five miles 
of this place. ..." 

June 24 he termed "a busy day, fixing wagons for ferrying, etc. 
We lay in camp and sacked our clothing, threw away our boxes, 
lead and some flour; trimmed over our bacon. We left twenty to 
thirty pounds of it. We had previously left 360 pounds, also 800 
pounds of bread stuff. Our average load is now about 2000 
pounds. Here were trunks, boxes, lead, bacon, iron, scythes, etc. 
scattered about." On June 25 he "Started out for the upper ferry, 
and soon came to another ferry. Some emigrant had dug out 
canoes and fixed three together to ferry over the wagons. The 
cattle swim. I saw a number of boats of this kind. After a com- 
pany has crossed, it sells the boat to another company. These 
ferry boats sell for thirty to forty dollars each. I was told one 
man was drowned at the crossing this morning. . . ."^^ 

Similar is the record of George Enoch Jewett. On June 23 
at noon he "came to the Platte River. . . . The stream is high the 
grass poor and a great many teams waiting to ferry, so we heard. 
It is 34 [26] miles to the [Mormon] ferry so we are not certain 
as to facts. Our Captain has gone to assertain. Drove 4 miles to 
Deer Creek, a fine little stream for fish. Captain returned. Con- 
cluded to cross at this place & use wagon beds for boats. Selected 
three of the best, calked & pitched them before dark." On the 
24th: "Sunday, Swam our cattle over all safe. Then the fun 
commenced and a fine time we had to ferry 18 wagons & their 

43. Transcript of MS. diary in Missouri Historical Society Library, St. 
Louis, Missouri. 

44. Transcript of MS. diary in Nebraska State Historical Society Library. 


loading over a stream 200 yards wide & ten feet deep & very swift, 
in 3 wagon beds. It was very hard work but we got all over safe 
before sundown." On June 25 Jewett added, "While packing up 
this morning a man came riding down and said there was a man 
drowned 1 mile up stream where they were ferrying. . . ."^-^ 

The drowning referred to by Benson and Jewett occurred in the 
company of Samuel Rutherford Dundass. Having reached Deer 
Creek on June 22, Dundass remained over the 23rd, and on the 
morning of the 24th went up the river 2 miles to make arrange- 
ments to cross. "This branch of the Platte," Dundass wrote in 
his journal, "is narrower and deeper than the South fork. It runs 
with great rapidity, and is from 4 and 5 to 10 feet in depth. The 
mormons have established a ferry a few miles above deer creek. 
But we bought a boat constructed of several canoes, lashed and 
pinned together. With some plank laid upon them, a wagon with 
a light load, could be taken over by this boat. It had been built 
by some of the first emigrants, sold to others and then again sold 
to others with no diminution of the original price, till it came into 
our hands. We paid $40 for it, and when done with it, sold it 
immediately for the same. This was a fine stroke of economy, 
as the Mormons charged three dollars per wagon for their services. 
What may ultimately become of that boat, I know not, but what- 
ever may be its future destiny, it has been useful in its day and 
generation, an affirmation that cannot be made of all the rational 
beings that passed over this river in this frail canoe vessel. 

"We put over a few wagons on the evening of the 24th, and had 
all taken over and marched a few miles on the 25th. But while 
our teams were all taken over in safety, we met, nevertheless, with 
a calamity on the morning of this 25th of June, which cast over us 
a deep gloom, and touched the most sensitive chord of our nature 
— Daniel Burgett, one of our company from Stark county Ohio, 
while attempting to swim his horse across, by some means got 
disengaged from the animal, and in attempting to swim to shore, 
was swept down the rapid current and sank to rise no more. He 
was a young man of superior intelligence and integrity; much 
esteemed by the company, and deeply regretted by all. During 
the day, we made diligent search for the body, but in vain. — The 
current is deep and swift and the bottom a bed of sand. The 
body was therefore, liable to be carried rapidly down the stream, 
or soon to be burried in the sand. Informed as we were, that 
several had been drowned at this very point, and none found after 
the most long continued search. We abandoned the search re- 
luctantly; a search that would not have been relinquished for days, 
had there been any reasonable hope of success. We left the place 
with heavy hearts, our evening meal was taken in silence, and a 

45. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 


sadness marked our little circle as we sat around our camp fire, 
like that of a family which had lost a beloved member."^*' 

These were the real tragedies of the crossing of the Platte; but 
there were tragedies of a comic order, too. Henry R. Mann, who 
on June 24 crossed at the Mormon Ferry "after passing a no. of 
ferries," remarks: "one co we passed on an Island, they had 
been there 2 days, and could not get off. The Island was a long 
one and they supposed they were on this side of the river, and 
had let the raft go. — They are in a good fix — "^' 

A. J. McCall crossed Deer Creek about noon on June 23, speak- 
ing of it as "a most lovely stream of clear crystal water, bordered 
by oak and aspen groves. The woods were filled with campers 
and presented a brisk and lively appearance. An extemporized 
smith shop was running, shoeing oxen and horses; wagons were 
being repaired. Some were washing and some mending; in fact 
almost everything was going on. Not far from here is a temporary 
ferry across the Piatt, and some are preparing for the passage. . . ." 
After sojourning at this pleasant camp over the 24th, McCall 
"pushed on twelve miles, and concluded to cross the Piatt, at a 
temporary ferry established by an emigrant. The ferry boat was 
constructed of three canoes, rudely dug out from cottonwood logs, 
and fastened side by side by hewed planks, firmly pinned to the 
top of the bow and stern. The wagon was lifted in, and the wheels 
rested in the outside canoes. The raft was just wide enough to 
hold a wagon. This rude craft was drawn back and forth by a 
rope stretched across the river and secured at the ends to either 
bank. A yoke of oxen on the opposite shore drew the loaded boat 
over. When empty it was drawn back by hand. The emigrant 
who constructed it, when he and his friends were ferried over, 
sold out to the next comer, who, when his work was done, sold 
out to the next. We bought the craft for seven dollars, but we 
were destitute of rope, the one in use belonging to one Capt. Love, 
of Ohio, who had shortly preceded us, and who was waiting for it, 
his train having moved on. On applying to him he kindly con- 
sented to loan me the ropes, upon my promise to bring them on 
to his train as soon as possible. The first thing was to swim the 
cattle over. A yoke of oxen on the opposite side was placed at 
the landing to attract their attention, and induce them to cross. 
We drove the cattle in the water, and they started off finely. The 
two heifers took the lead, but with the freakishness of their sex, 
when half way over they turned around, and thus threw the herd 
in confusion. They began to drift down the stream, and some 
were caught under the ferry rope and came near drowning. They 

46. Journal of Samuel Rutherford Dundass (Steubenville, Ohio, 1857), 
pp. 30-31. 

47. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 


finally reached the opposite shore, and some had to be hauled up 
the steep bank much to their injury. That job finished, we com- 
menced moving over the wagons and plunder, and by three o'clock 
everything was safely over the raging stream without further 
accident. At the ferries below us, we learn that a number of 
persons have been drowned in making the passage. We sold our 
ferry to the next comer for five dollars, making the cost to us only 
two dollars. . . ."^''' 

Perhaps the most surprising thing about McCall's narrative is 
the low price stated for the purchase and sale of the ferry boat, 
though henceforth we observe better bargains in such transactions. 
Another curious account is that of Julius Martin Nevins, who like 
so many other quoted diarists reached Deer Creek June 23 and 
laid by the next day. On the 25th his diary says: "Went 6 miles 
bought a rope and paid 16 dollars for it ferried over 5 teams for 
15 dollars and then sold it for the same we gave." The oddity 
of all this is that Nevins then writes on June 26, "Went 5 miles 
we crossed the Platte to-day on a raft 28 miles from the ford," 
which would indicate that his party did not trust their own property 
to the contraption by which they crossed others.^" 

The last week of June saw no diminution in the pressure on the 
ferries. F. D. Everts, an Indianan who had reached Deer Creek 
June 23 and gone 2 miles up it for grass, wrote on June 26: "Our- 
selves, but more especially our oxen, felt much better after our two 
days rest. . . . Platte River was too high to be forded, and there was 
a ferry at the mouth of Deer creek. The two ferry boats here 
consisted of 3 or 4 canoes, each fastened together, on which they 
carried across a wagon and its Load. The boats were not kept 
by any particular person, but were transferred by sale as companies 
crossed, to others. Some were ferrying themselves by fastening 
together two Wagon boxes made water tight. The current was 
very rapid and several men were already drowned. The boats 
were already engaged ahead for several days, and we therefore 
continued our way up the Platte this morning crossing Deer creek 
1 1/2 miles above its mouth. Continuing up the River bottom 
5 miles we came to a second ferry. We purchased the raft, made 
by fastning together 10 or 15 logs, for $16 but did not get pos- 
session of it untill six ocl P. M. Our cattle were driven across 
and guarded, on the opposite shore. The river had made a sudden 
bend to the right, and by Starting the raft above the point in 
the bend, and plying the oars, the swiftness of the current carried 
it rapidly to its propper Landing. The raft was then drawn up 
the opposite bank by 3 yoke of oxen about 45 rods, after which 

48. A. J. McCall, The Great California Trail in 1849 (Bath, N. Y., 
1882), pp. 42-44. 

49. Transcript of MS. diary in California State Library. 


8 or 10 Men drew it about 35 rods up and into the river, by 
wading out on a sand-bar, and enough men on the raft to work 
the oars, it was let drop to the Landing point, the men that towed 
it out wading back to the shore, the ferrying of the first 2 or 3 
wagons was mere sport, but wading quite to the waist against the 
current, on a quick sand bar and pulling the heavy raft, soon 
became fatigueing, and the first rare sport became rather a dread, 
but the men worked vigorously and by three ocl the next day our 
train of Sixteen wagons, without any accident occurring, were 
safely over on the left bank. The raft was sold for the price given, 
and by 4 ocl we were under way and folowing up the lef [sic] 

Simon Doyle, on June 27, like Jewett on June 23-24, tells of 
ferry operations below Deer Creek (it may be remembered that 
the emigrant road itself came down out of ths Black Hills to the 
banks of the North Platte 5 miles below Deer Creek). On the 
26th he camped 2 miles below the creek, then on the 27th: 
"Drove 1 Mile lower Ferry 1 Mile below Mouth of Deer creek 
Commenced crossing 8 oclock in 3 Canoes lashed together corked 
2 waggon Bodies & used during after noon Crosse 12 wagon 
taking wagon & Load at 3 Boate Loads." He called the river at 
this point "300 yds wide with current rapid." 

Elisha B. Lewis had got as far as Deer Creek on the 26th, and 
made arrangements to ferry next day "by paying 14/ per waggon" 
(14 shillings being the equivalent of about $2.80). On the 27th, 
Lewis relates, "we were up in good season got breakfast and had 
our teems in readiness at the river for crossing Commence at 
8 oclock and at 12 oclock our waggons were all ferried over and 
cattle swam acrosst the river. . . ."-''^ It could be as easy as that. 

A. R. Burbank was a neighbor of Lewis during these two days. 
On the 26th his company encamped somewhat below Deer Creek, 
"near the bank of the river 1 mile from the last bluff. . . . We 
had not as yet reached the ferrys. we beared many rumors — 
2000 wagons & but 2 ferrys. but a number of Emigrants was 
ferr[y]ing at different points — with canoes — wagon beds &c. the 
river was too big to ford. . . ." On the 27th, he writes: "I started 
at sunrise, accompaneyed by Lawyer Taylor, up the river for the 
Sevral Ferrys to make arrangements to Cross, visited several 
crossing places before we could make an early engagement, which 
we finally succeeded in. to cross this afternoon. I saw some 
Emigrants making Canoes, others had bought canoes — Others 
corking wagon beds & otheres crossing at the Ferrys. a general 
crossing was going on with canoes, wagon beds & rafts, for the 

50. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

51. Transcript of MS. diary in Wisconsin State Historical Society 


distance of 25 miles up the river, as far as the upper Ferry, 
probably further, our train soon came up- A small Company 
was crossing which delayed us for several hours, we reached the 
ferry at 8. A. M. Commensed Crossing at 12 1/2 p. m. We 
devided our hands & sent 5 wagons to an other crossing close-by, 
the boats or Canoes, consist of two Canoes with a cottonwood log 
(dry) fastened between all of abreast. Also some of 3 Canoes 
lashed together. Some wagons was taken apart & others crossed 
without.' all had to be onladed. A wagon & its contents was 
generally taken at one Load. 3 men at the oars & one at the helm. 
Several was engaged on each side to cordelle up the boat along the 
shore, prepairing the load & on load. A grand aspect or rich 
seen was presented here to the passer by or looker on. the sketcher 
daguerreotyper &c. but none here, all too busily engaged to take 
observation. I occasionally cast a glance over the passing seens — 
mixed multitude & was always filled with laughter. Wished the 
Seen could be painted &c. we was all over & tents pitched on this 
side by sunset. Cattle & horses swam over all safe. We was filled 
with gratitude. Ferryage $3 — pr Wagon the river is high deep 
& very swift. Water muddy. Stream about one hundred yards 
wide. Dist. 3 miles. ""'- 

Amos Steck seems to have crossed at or a little below Deer 
Creek. On the 27th he wrote, "Laid by all day and made a raft 
upon which we crossed nearly one-half of our baggage today. 
Swam the cattle in the afternoon. The Platte here is very rapid. 
The labor of rafting was very tiresome indeed. We were obliged 
to pull the raft up on the side upon which we landed to such a 
point that the force of the current would drive the raft to the 
proper point on the other side." On the 28th he added, "Con- 
tinued the rafting and packed up and ready to start tomorrow 

D. Jagger came up the river on June 28: "came to a ferry, 4 
canoes lashed together price $2.50 per Waggon not liking the 
place we left for the Mormon Ferry 5 miles farther" — and there, 
as we have seen, his party crossed the same day, satisfied to pay 
$3 per wagon. •'•^ A better picture of the scene along the North 
Platte this day is provided by Lyman Mitchell, who like Jagger 
eventually crossed the river higher up: "we l[e]ft Camp This 
morning at 5 & about noon we come in sight of the Platte [below 
Deer Creek] here its Banks was crouded with teames some of 
the men was Diging out Canoons to cross in whiles [others] ware 
Crosing while we stood on the bank we herd the cry of mans 

52. MS. diary in Library of Congress. 

53. MS. diary in State Historical Society of Colorado Library. 

54. MS. diary in California Historical Society Library; see also Part L 
p. 25. 


Drownding we looked in the direction of the mois [noise] & saw 
a man come up on the water fore the last tine he under took to 
swim across the river but the curent was so strong that it 
car[ri]ed him down & he was drowned. . . ." On the 29th 
Mitchell "continued up the river untill noon & then we came to 
the last [Mormon] ferry on the Piatt we have passed six diferent 
Places where Emegrants were Crossing the river some had 
Canoose & some raffs one Company from Missourie lost two 
wagons by trying to cross on rafts. . . .""'"' 

As against such an account, we have the diary entry of S. B. F. 
Clark on June 29, "Came to the ferry of the Platte, crossed and 
encamped on the north side. Distance 20 miles.""'" Lucius 
Fairchild is scarcely more explicit, "Crossed the North Fork of 
the Platte on the 30*^ and 31^' [i.e., June 30 and July 1] in our 
wagon boxes. "''^ But again there comes along a diarist like Major 
Osborne Cross, traveling with the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen. 
Cross, having reached Deer Creek on June 29, next day moved 
along 10 miles to Crooked Muddy Creek (present Muddy Creek), 
12 3/4 miles below the Mormon Ferry. "The river," he observed, 
"presented a very busy scene. Emigrants were crossing in several 
places, while others engaged in constructing rude rafts of dry 
logs, which were attached together and pieces pinned across to 
confine them. By placing at the end two oars, which [were] used 
as sweeps, they [were] propelled to the opposite side, descending 
at the same time partly with the current. After reaching the 
[farther bank] a yoke of oxen [were] attached to it, and it [was] 
carried up the stream sufficiently far that when let loose it 
reach [ed] the point from where it originally started by the force 
and effect of the current and the aid of the oars. The wagons 
were taken apart, and it generally [took] three trips to carry over 
one of its load. This, you will perceive, was very slow work, 
and would be still more with a train as large as the one with us 
[numbering some 400 wagons]." It was finally decided that the 
third division of the military column should cross at this middle 
ferry, "while the first and second should move up the river to the 
Mormon ferry, where we might attempt to cross on rafts, or use 
the ferry.""''* The further adventures of the first and second divi- 
sion we have already chronicled, but the experiences of those who 
crossed at Crooked Muddy Creek remain unreported, save for 
Castleman's remarks below. 

55. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

56. Ella Sterling Mighels, ed., How Matty Miles from St. Jo? (San 
Francisco, 1929), p. 17. 

57. Joseph Schafer, ed., California Letters of Lucius Fairchild (Wiscon- 
sin State Historical Society Collections, vol. 31, Madison, 1931), p. 31. 

58. Raymond W. Settle, ed.. The March of the Mounted Riflemen 
(Glendale, 1941), pp. 110-111; and see Part I, pp.; 26-28. 


One of the most meticulous of the diarists in reporting the 
overland journey in 1849 is Isaac Lord. Characteristically, he 
gives us definite information that by July 2 ferries were operating 
as far down the North Platte at the point where the emigrant road 
descended out of the Black Hills. As he wrote: ". . . passing 
up and over a hill, got a fair view of the Platte, and teams almost 
without number, moving or lying upon the river, waiting to cross. 
A long, gradual descent through, or rather, between the low hills, 
brought us to the first ferry on the upper Platte. The emigrants 
are being ferried across the river for $2 50 per wagon Passed up 
a very good road five miles, and camped on Deer Creek. Here 
is a wide bottom, mostly covered with cottonwood, and a fine 
stream of water. ... A blacksmith by the name of Ford, ust 
now traveling with the Oskaloosa [Iowa] company, is at work 
shoeing horses and oxen already. He will be setting tire directly, 
I presume, as he has promised a number to do so. Bought a 
boat in company with Cameron's train, to ferry ourselves over, 
when we get ready. Drove our cattle seven miles up the creek 
for grass. None near." 

Lord describes the Fourth of July celebration on Deer Creek, 
"now at least two hundred men camped here on one hundred 
acres of ground" — and this 7 miles back from the North Platte. 
That evening there were "any quantity of speeches, and sentiments, 
and firing of guns, (and for that matter you might hear them in 
all directions, — for miles around) and one man had a thumb 
shot off." On July 5 he says, "Crossed all our wagons by a little 
after noon, and the other train before night." By the 7th, then 
encamped 4 miles below "the upper ford," he could reflect, "This 
road is a little longer than that on the south side, rather heavier 
(sandier], and no springs or streams of water, with one exception; 
but the grass has not been as much fed down, as fifteen hundred 
teams crossed the upper [Mormon] ferry before we came up, 
and there are ferries every two or three miles [down] to Deer 
creek. . . ." Next day Lord's parting comment was: "A great 
many persons have been drowned in the Platte, at the different 
ferries and fords this year. The current is so bad, and the water 
so cold, that he who swims it must be a swimmer indeed. . . .""'•' 

Philip Badman, who reached Deer Creek the same day as Lord, 
noted that his company "engaged a Blk Smith to shew our mules 
& set our tire," and on the 3rd he added, "this Blk Smith Shop is 
the largest I Ever See it was the whole compy of Neavens," but 
whether he and Lord were talking about the same smithy is not 
certain. Badman wrote on the 4th: "the boys on the other side 
of the River had quite a Spree & the govmt troops & Pioneer Line 
was firing Salutes all the while till 12 O clock at night & we got 

59. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 


our wagon & loaded on the Plate at night & the ballance Came over 
the next morning July 5, 1849 we Comenced ferr[y]ing the 
balance in the morning & got them all over by 10 O clock. . . ."*'" 

On the 3rd Badman mentioned that "the Pioneer line came up 
this Evening forty wagons," and next day Lord remarked the 
presence of this company across Deer Creek from his own encamp- 
ment. The Pioneer Line, so called, was the unlucky commercial 
undertaking of Turner & Allen to deliver Forty-niners in California 
as if by stage. The proprietors got off two trains during the sea- 
son, one setting out May 1, the other a month later. Only a 
little is known about the second, but the history of the first train 
is a catalogue of mismanagement and misfortune. One passenger 
in that first train was Niles Searls, and we may pick up his account 
on reaching Deer Creek July 3 : 

"The river at this point is from 10 to 12 feet [deep] & can only 
be crossed by ferrying. Emigrants are crossing from a short 
distance below us, to a point 30 miles above at every place practi- 
cable. The usual method is to prepare some two or three 'dug 
outs' — pin them together by means of cross timbers, thus forming 
a kind of scow capable of carrying a wagon The builders after 
crossing sellout to some other company who in turn do the same 
to a succeeding one. Our Company has purchased two of these 
rude machines. One near us & one two miles below. The Car- 
riages will proceed to the lower ferry in the morning & cross, while 
the baggage train does the same here — by thus passing over at 
once we hope to steal a march on a large portion of those waiting 
on the south bank, the number of which within 30 miles is 
estimated even as high as 2000 wagons. The Oregon battallion 
[Regiment of Mounted Riflemen] with a train of 400 wagons is 
encamped seven miles above us. Their numbers have been much 
reduced by desertion since leaving Leavenworth." It was 1 P. M. 
on July 4 before the boat was at liberty, and the animals were not 
crossed over till late on the 5th, so not much of a march was 
stolen on other California-bound trains.*'^ 

John E. Brown's diary says no more than that on July 4 his 
party "drove to the ferry, where we were kindly accommodated 
by Mr. Turner of the Pioneer Line."^- A better informant is 
Charles B. Darwin, who this day reached Deer Creek and ascended 
it 3 miles in a vain search for grass. He observed, "many are 
crossing the platte anxious for a change & thinking feed cannot 
there be poorer, some have brought out canoos with them & 

60. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

61. MS. diary in Bancroft Library; edited by Robert M. Searls as 
The Diary of a Pioneer and Other Papers (San Francisco, 1940). 

62. Katie E. Blood, ed., "Memoirs of a Forty-Niner," Journal of 
American History, vol. 2, January-March, 1908, p. 142. 


after getting themselves over sell them for 12 or so on to the next 
comer some have put together logs & charge $2 per wagon & 
swim over stock & some have a rope streached over all eager 
after gold & as in home life useing all arts & machinations to 
obtain it there are several fords or rather ferries as the platte cant 
here be forded at all narrow rapid & deep & clear nearly, many 
teams have driven off stock onto the hills for to pick up a little 
feed indeed grim desolation look up from all the ground & The 
Desert of Sahara is the association occupying the mind in con- 
templating our situation. . . ." Darwin on July 5 went on up to 
the Mormon Ferry and crossed there.*'-' 

We have reports by several other diarists on July 4, extending 
over the next several days. Joseph Sedgley wrote on July 5: 
"After traveling five miles [from La Prele Creek], we came to 
the lower Platte ferry. We crossed in boats dug out of logs. 
Wagons are placed on them and carried over, by means of a rope 
stretched across the river. One wagon, that crossed before us, 
was upset and went down the river, the men barely escaping to 
the shore. After this, we concluded to travel three miles to the 
upper ferry; this keeps us on the road all night. Stopped to rest, 
and slept most of the time. We were very tired from our extra 
work. . . . [On the 6th] Swam our mules across the river, [and] 
made another start. . . . When we were about starting, a wagon, 
in crossing, was upset, and went to the bottom, with all its contents, 
except three bags of flour. The river is about three hundred yards 
wide, current rapid, bottom gravelly, and banks partially timbered 
with Cottonwood."*^* 

Cephas Arms, one of a company from Knoxville, Illinois, which 
had spent July 4 in proximity to Isaac Lord, says that the company 
occupied themselves on the 5th airing wagons, washing, black- 
smithing, etc., and on the 6th "commenced crossing our wagons 
over the Platte in a boat made of four canoes lashed together, and 
all got over safe, without adding any more to the large number that 
have already been swallowed up in its turbid waters, at these 
ferries amounting to seventeen men. It was very hard work, 
having to draw our wagons three-fourths of a mile by hand, and 
then to tow the boat half a mile (in order to get the advantage of 
the current to set the boat over,) and this against the current and 
in the water." On the 7th, "It was after noon before we got our 
teams over and ready to start, and then four oxen and one pony 
were missing. We camped on the river just at dark, distance eight 
miles. Feed poor. Mr. [H. J.] Ward came very near being 

63. MS. diary in Henry E. Huntington Library. 

64. Joseph Sedgley, Overland to Calif ornio in 1849 (Oakland, 1877), 
pp. 34-35. 


drowned this afternoon, but finally escaped after having sunk 
twice. . . .""•'' 

Illustrating the havoc wrought by the jam-up at the ferries, when 
P. F. Castleman reached Deer Creek on July 4, he had to go 8 
miles up it to find grass; he remarked next day: "this streame is 
well supplied with timber and good grasing so it is now occupied 
with emigrants from its mouth some three miles above us where 
there is some two hundred head of animals belonging to the gov- 
ernment train." On July 6 he went to the river, "wher the train 
above mentioned wer crossing. ... I here found a cosen of mine 
who was employed as quartermaster of this division by the name of 
George Arehart. He gave me the boat which the train had crossed 
with it being composed of three canoes lashed together. ..." 
On the 7th, Castleman continues, "as soon as breakfast was over 
all was busily engaged in driving up our stolk an preparing to get 
off an by 6 o'clock we wer on the road it being about nine miles 
across the hills to the ferry [at Muddy Creek] .... when we arived 
at the river we found that [I.] Foster and [I.] Clark had feried 
over some four waggons but could not drive the cattle across so 
some time in the afternoon we began to ferry our waggons across 
so we made an attempt to drive the cattle that belonged to these 
four waggons across but they being hard to drive three of their 
men swam in after them two swam across and one of them took 
the cramp and drownded. A. Grayhem & I Tucker wen[t] in 
to try to rescue him but wer to late the[y] suckseed in getting 
him to an Hand here John oconnel and James Barry went to 
there assistance but could not suckseed in restoring him to life 
the deceased was a native of Ireland late from St Louis his name 
was James Henley we got four waggons across before sundown 
so we swam our animals across an then devided our company 
putting a gard out on both sides of the river Dis 9 miles." 
Completing his story on July 8, Castleman relates that "about sun 
rise we began to ferry the ballance of our waggons across which 
we completed by 8 o'clock when we resumed our march. . . ."^^' 

Gordon C. Cone on July 8 was evidently speaking of the Deer 
Creek site when he remarked, "this is the best place to cross many 
are crossing at this place, so that we shall not get over until 
tomorrow — ." His party was able to finish crossing sometime 

65. Knoxville, Illinois, Journal, October 31, 1849. Both John B. Colton 
and H. B. Frans of the Knoxville Company, in letters respectively written 
on July 17 and July 24, said that some fifty men had been drowned in 
the river — "in one week," according to Colton. Frans said, not quite 
clearly, that after the Company started on, he "bought a ferry boat for 
$50 and ran it three days, crossing teams at from $2 to $3 apiece, till I 
made $8 per day for seven days." Oqiiawka, Illinois, Spectator, October 
3 and 10, 1849. 

66. Photocopy of typed transcript in Bancroft Library. 


after noon on July 9: "The ferry was made by lashing two wagon 
boxes together, and with tar and calking made tight, so that they 
served as boats, or boat — The crossing was very labourious as 
most of the wagons had to be unloaded, and the wagon and load 
taken over sepperate — The river is about forty rods wide, with a 
deep and strong current; we had all the work to do, and pay two 
dollars and fifty cents pr. wagon for crossing — the cattle we swim 
over — As we assend the Piatt it grows narrow, and deeper — its 
great width below [Fort Laramie] enables you to ford it in many 
places as the water is spread over this width, and much of it sinks 
in the sand in many places, and rises again in others — " 

Before taking leave of the Platte, Cone further remarked on 
July 12; "The ferries on this river are of a novel nature — Being 
hundreds of miles from any settlement, they are not stationary — 

"The first teams that arrived, by means of large troughs dug 
out of the trunks of the cottonwood trees, or, by lashing wagon 
boxes together, construct a ferry, cross over their train, then some 
one of the company remains until another train comes up, and 
either ferries them over for a stipulated fee, or sells out the concern 
to them, and takes to his horse and overtakes his train — In all 
cases the succeeding proprietors pursue the same course — it is in 
most cases a money making business, as they charge such prices 
as the varying avarice of the individuals demand — ""'' 

Stillman Churchill, who reached Deer Creek the same day as 
Cone, but later in the afternoon, says "the wind [was] blowing 
hard & it was very blustering we found a ferry boat at the Creek 
but we thought it best to drive up the creek & let our teams recruit 
2 days which we did & found grass sufficient for all the emigra- 
tion. . . /' On July 11, "Weather fair left camp at 6 A. M. for 
the ferry drove across the bluffs three miles when we again come 
to the main road again." Here, as Churchill was evidently making 
for the ferry at Muddy Creek (but possibly the Mormon Ferry), 
his journal lapses for a time, and he gives us no record of the 
actual crossing. '''^^ 

On July 12 William Swain reached Deer Creek. Here his com- 
pany decided to cross, "on a craft of canoes fastened together by 
poles & pegs." The animals were taken up Deer Creek to graze, 
two wagons being meanwhile filled with hay for the barren stretch 
of trail ahead, and returned to the ferry on the morning of the 
14th. "We found our train just crossing the last waggon & we 
swam the herd across the stream & at 12 oclock we rolled away 
from the ferry." Swain notes on the 17th, "we arrived at the 

67. MS. diary in collection of Fred A. Rosenstock, Denver, Colorado. 

68. MS. diary in collection of Fred A. Rosenstock; copies in Minnesota 
Historical Society Library and Bancroft Library. 


upper ferry where the road leaves the river," but omits to say 
whether or not the Mormon Ferry was still operating at that date, 
information we should be glad to have.^" 

About the time Swain's party finished crossing, David Dewolf 
reached Deer Creek. "The ferry boats were made by fastening 
two wagons boddies together with a space of four feet between 
them. We had to swim the oxen over, we then commenced ferry- 
ing our wagons over one a time we had to pull them over by a 
rope made fast on each side of the river to trees they also had 
three dugouts fastened together which they used as liters. We 
succeeded in getting eight wagons over this evening when we had 
to stop operations it being quite dark one of our company killed 
a Buffalo today they are coming quite plenty again. . . ." On 
the 15th he added, "finished crossing our wagons over & traveled 
six miles where we encampt. . . . the river where we crossed was 
three hundred yards wide & very rapid current we had to pay two 
dollars a wagon for ferrying over the river."'"' 

Charles Gould, coming up that same day, July 15, remarked 
that the ferry was "situated about half a mile from where the 
regular trail crosses Deer Creek. The river is about 800 feet 
wide here with a swift current. The boats are constructed of 
six 'dug outs' fastened together, worked by oars. It took us until 
4:00 P. M. to get across — the animals were swam across.""^ In 
the same party, David Jackson Staples wrote: "Today we have 
crossed the Platte again being ferryed across by a party from 111. 
who on coming up to the ferry found it governed by a Mormon 
who was asking $2.50 for ferrying over a waggon they went to 
work and made a raft of log's dug out, they ferreyed us over for 
.50 cts a waggon this had the right effect to make him reduce 
his fare the same we had to swim our mules over."''^- 

This notation by Staples is the first definite association of Mor- 
mons with the lower ferry, though we have noted Parke's comment 
on June 22. The facts as related are interesting otherwise, as 
indicating the lessening pressure on the ferry facilities, for even a 
week previous no scale of prices for one ferry could much have 
affected neighboring operations. 

On the 17th we have a wealth of diarists migrating in a single 
company from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, no less than 
three tell of conditions near Deer Creek. Amos Batchelder writes: 
"... After two hours travel we reached the lower Platte ferry. 

69. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

70. "Diary of the Overland Trail and Letters of Captain David Dewolf," 
Illinois State Historical Society, Transactions, 1925, p. 198. 

71. MS. diary in Minnesota Historical Society Library. 

72. MS. diary in Bancroft Library; edited by Harold F. Taggart in 
California Historical Society Quarterly, vol. 22, June, 1943, pp. 119-150. 


The boats, or whatever they may be called, are of the rudest 
construction, and we expected to see them sink under every load. 
One was made of two wagon bodies lashed together about 4 feet 
apart, with boards laid across their tops for a floor. The other 
was made of three logs dug out like a hogs-trough, and lashed 
together in the same way as the first. They were drawn across by 
means of a rope extended between the trees. After ferrying over 
our baggage, we drove the animals through the rapid stream, 
which is at this point about ten rods wide. One of our mules 
became entangled by the halter that was left to drag under his feet, 
and was drowned. A small company with three wagons is stopping 
here to attend the ferry. The company is made up of men, 
women, and children. They keep several cows, and make butter, 
which, with some hot biscuit made by the ladies, was a luxury, 
as it was the first we had seen since we left Independence. Large 
cotton wood trees grow along the bank of the river, affording a 
complete protection from the intensely hot rays of the sun. 
A blacksmiths anvil, and several other heavy articles were 
lying along the shore, thrown away in consequence of their 
weight. . . ."'-^ 

More briefly, Kimball Webster said of "the lower ferry on the 
North Platte," that they found "a poor ferry boat in which we 
carried our packs to the opposite side of the stream, and caused 
all of our animals to swim over. We lost one mule by being 
drowned, with which exception we were very fortunate. The 
stream at this point is very rapid and deep.""^ 

Our third diarist, Joseph A. Stuart, dwells particularly on the 
loss of the mule: "Our mess lost a mule by drowning. Someone 
left a halter dragging so as to catch him readily on the other side, 
and many animals were entangled in the 30-feet length of rope. 
My horse was among those entangled, but extricated himself and 
returned to the shore. I had stripped to go to his rescue with my 
bowie between my teeth, but he got himself clear before I reached 
him and returned with me. I held him by the bight of a rope 
ready for slipping in case of accident and he followed with his 
nose resting upon the stern of the ferry boat. This ferry boat 
was composed of a half-dozen cottonwood log canoes lashed 
together and planks laid across for the wagon wheels. We ferried 
our packs and ourselves across. The cattle followed our animals 
as if it was a matter of course that they go together. They give us 
little trouble. A part of our mess had a long chase in catching 
their mules after crossing and were an hour late in reaching camp. 

73. MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 

74. Kimball Webster, The Gold Seekers of '49 (Manchester, N. H., 
1917), p. 60. 


Remained to help them and we got a good lunch of hot biscuit 
made by a woman at the ferry and baked in an oven.""'"* 

Joseph Middleton made no entries in his diary for several weeks 
before crossing the Platte, which apparently was about July 15 
and near Deer Creek. During the course of the 18th he "came 
opposite the Upper Ferry which is 24, some say, 27 miles above 
the Lower Ferry at the mouth of Deer Creek," and he was then 
moved to remark, "At the Lower Ferry I saw 2 wagons loaded 
with green hay that they said they had mowed about 3 or 4 
miles up Deer Creek. It seems to be a coarse kind of rye grass 
and was very sweet. "^'^ 

Now at length we came to that indefatigable diarist, J. Golds- 
borough Bruff, who characteristically describes the experiences of 
his Washington City Company at the Deer Creek ferry. On 
July 16, en route from La Prele Creek to the bottoms of the 
North Platte, he wrote: ". . . when near the edge of the Platte, 
2 Mormons came up, and desired me to cross there, and informing 
me what companies they had taken over. But I knew what sort 
of a ferry they had, and that the country, on the other side was a 
deep sand-drag, and where the proper ferry and conveyance was: 
And dechned. — Going on, I found the train halted, and on going 
back to see what was the matter, found that the Mormons had 
had the impudence to stop them, to persuade the men to cross 
there; and the teamster of the lead wagon actually said that he 
thought the Sense of the company should be taken about it. I 
order'd him preremptorily to vacate his seat, or drive on at once, 
and handling a pistol in my belt, told the Mormons to be off, or 
I'd blow them to blazes. — So the train promptly moved ahead. 
This hard tramp for the mules, 27 1/2 miles, brought us to Deer 
Creek, which we crossed, passing through hundreds of tents, 
wagons, camp fires, and people of every age & sex, congregated 
on its banks,'^^ and turned down to the right, camped on the banks 
of the Platte, at the Ferry, 1/3 of a mile above the mouth of the 
Creek.''"'^ This drive was without grass. Here was a little grass. 
The ferry here kept by 3 men. ..." 

On July 17 Bruff continues: . . . Very early this morning I 
sent the mules 7 miles up Deer Creek, under guard of 20 men — 
to graze, and a party to cut grass & bring down. Hauled the seine, 
in Platte, [and] caught a number of fine fish. A Company with 

75. Joseph A. Stuart, My Roving Life (Auburn, California, 1896, 2 
vols.), vol. I, p. 38. Note that although Stuart's description of the ferry 
varies from Batchelder's, it agrees with Gould's. 

76. MS. diary in Yale University Library. 

77. "Thousands of men, women, and children!" Bruff wrote in another 
version of his diary. 

.,^8. Bruff said in another account that they camped "about 2 miles" 
from the ford where they crossed Deer Creek. 


ox-wagons, crossed the ferry this morning. Our wheels much 
shrunk — repairing & strengthening them. 

"The abandonment and destruction of property here — at Deer 
Creek, is extraordinary: true, a great deal is heavy cumbrous, 
useless articles: A Diving bell and all the apparatus, heavy 
anvils, iron and steel, forges, bellows, lead, &c. &c. and provissions; 
— bacon in great piles, many chords of it — good meat. Bags 
of beans, salt, &c. &c. Trunks, chests, tools of every description, 
clothing, tents, tent-poles, harness, &c. &c. 

"I took advantage of the piles of bacon here, and had all mine 
trimmed of fat and the rusty exterior and the requisite amount of 
pounds replaced by choice cuts from the abandoned piles. Was 
told of a man here, who a few days ago offered a barrel of sugar 
for sale, for about threble its cost, price — and unable to obtain 
that, he poured Spirits of turpentine in it, and burnt it up. The 
spirit of selfishness has been here beautifully developed — Dis- 
carded effects generally rendered useless: — Camp utensils & ves- 
sels broken, kegs & buckets stove, trunks chopped with hatchets, 
& saws & other tools all broken. A considerable accumulation 
of ox-chains & yokes. . . . 

"Trains of ox-wagons hourly coming up, among some of them 
Mr. [Loring] Pickering & lady. At Deer Creek there is a camp 
of 3 wagons & several Missourians, who have 2 wagons heavily 
laden with Alcohol, for California. This they dilute, and with 
dried apples, peaches, &c. manufacture all kinds of liquors. They 
sell a dilute whiskey at 50c per pint, and expect that on the route, 
and in California they will realize a fortune from the proceeds: 
but I doubt much that they will ever get a gallon of it into 

"The Ferry-boat here, made and tended by 3 or 4 men, is com- 
posed of 8 dug-outs, or canoes, — of cotton-wood; and grooved 
timber pinned over, connecting them, and forming a rail-way to 
run the wagons on." 

Two days later, on July 19, Bruff wrote: "Several trains of 
ox-wagons crossed the ferry: — the animals are swum over. . . . 
Crossed the company after dinner, and camped a little above the 
landing, with springs in a hollow. . . . Paid $1 per wagon for 
crossing. Left a guard, on S.side,with the mules." Bruff kept 
on up the north bank of the river, and it is noteworthy that on 
the 21st he wrote, "Saw where there had been several ferries, and 
old rafts on the shores & islands." 

One of the several accounts Bruff wrote contains the following 
additional partciulars: "This [Deer Creek] ferry is kept by 3 
men from Iowa. They are emigrants, but think this a speculation 
worth their attention. The ferry-boat is formed of 8 cottonwood 
canoe's, roughly formed, and slightly excavated. They are 
fastened together, side by side, by a strip of wood at each end, 
running across the bows, and pinned down to each canoe. Then 


across, in a similar manner, are centrally laid 2 grooved rail-way 
pieces, for the wagon wheels to run in. An inclined plane is 
cut in the bank on this side, for a landing, and the opposite shore 
is low. The animals are swum over."^-' 

Bruff places us further in his debt by an actual sketch of this 
ferry in operation. Details are clearly apparent, the eight canoes, 
four cross-pieces to bear the wagon wheels — and what one would 
not have known from his written description, the fact that this 
craft could carry two good-sized wagons across the river at the 
same time. To judge from the picture, the boat was worked by 
oars, as Gould had noted on July 15 (though he and Stuart de- 
scribed the ferry boat as constructed of six, rather than eight, 
canoes)."*" Another interesting detail, mules are seem swimming 
close to the raft, their heads held up by lines firmly grasped by 
men aboard the boat."^^ 

Henry Austin, one of Bruff's company, who remained to guard 
the provisions and baggage when, on July 17, the animals were 
sent out 10 or 12 miles to grass, commented: "We have quite a 
stirring time at this place owing to its proximity to the ferry over 
the north fork of the Plate River — A large number of men have 
collected here waiting their turn to cross — and doing all necessary 
repairs to wagons etc. etc." On July 19 he wrote, "We expect to 
start tomorrow morning if all well the mules have not been 
brought in yet Crossed the river in the evening: all the wagons 
are over — "^- 

It was July 25 when Captain Howard Stansbury came along, 
bound for Utah with his topographical party. In his Report he 
says: "Just above the mouth of [Deer Creek], there was a ferry 
over the North Fork of the Platte, at which I determined to cross 
the train. The means employed for this purpose were of the rudest 
and simplest kind. The ferry-boat was constructed of seven 
canoes, dug out from cotton-wood logs, fastened side by side with 
poles, a couple of hewn logs being secured across their tops, upon 
which the wheels of the wagons rested. This rude raft was drawn 
back and forth by means of a rope stretched across the river, 
and secured at the ends to either bank. Frail and insecure as was 
the appearance of this very primitive ferry-boat, yet all the wagons 

79. Georgia Willis Read and Ruth Gaines, eds., Gold Rush, The Journals 
Drawings, and Other Papers of J. Goldsborough Bruff (New York, 1944, 
2 vols.), vol. I, pp. 46-50; and see pp. 121-122, 492, 494. 

80. Stansbury, as we see below, says the ferry boat was made of 7 
dugouts. Is all this faulty observation, or did the number vary from time 
to time? 

81. This striking sketch by Bruff, not reproduced by the Misses Read 
and Gaines, is here reproduced through the courtesy of the Henry E. 
Huntington Library. 

82. Photocopy of MS. diary in Bancroft Library. 


were passed over in the course of two hours, without the slightest 
incident, although many of them were very heavily laden. The 
animals were driven into the stream and obliged to ferry them- 
selves over, which they did without loss, although ths river was 
now somewhat swollen by late rains and the current extremely 
rapid and turbid. The ferrymen informed me that an emigrant 
had been drowned here the day before, in essaying to swim his 
horse across, which he persisted in attempting, notwithstanding 
the earnest entreaties and warnings of his friends. They told us 
that this man made the twenty-eighth victim drowned in crossing 
the Platte this year; but I am inclined to believe that this must be 
an exaggeration. The charge for ferriage was two dollars for 
each wagon. The price, considering that the ferrymen had been 
for months \ sic.'] encamped here in a little tent, exposed to the 
assaults of hordes of wandering savages, for the sole purpose of 
affording this accommodation to travellers, was by no means 
extravagant.' '^ •"' 

Stansbury reproduces a sketch, "Crossing of the Platte Mouth 
of Deer Creek," which does not quite conform either to his 
description or to Bruff's sketch, leaving us to wonder whether the 
artist fixed up some of the details to suit himself — if indeed they 
were not manufactured by the lithographer at another place and 
time; in general, the boat as rendered is much more finished. 

The last record we have of the North Platte ferries in 1849 
we owe to James M. Hutchings, who reached Deer Creek early 
on July 3 1 . "Here we found a ferry across the N. Platte and 
about 10 Ocl'k A. M. we commenced crossing and finished soon 
after dark, having 29 waggons to cross over. There had liked 
to have been [a shooting scrape, which he describes]. Mr. 
[Charles] Dallas [word illegible] bought the Ferry this morning, 
line, ferry-boat, small boat &c. for an inferior horse — the owners 
having grown tired of waiting any longer — they had been here 
three weeks but had now packed up for the 'diggins.' We worked 
hard all day to get over the teams &c. — We were charged $2. per 
waggon so that he made $59 out of our train — crossed his own for 
nothing and sold it for $150 [sic]. We swam our animals across 
above the ferry. . . ."'^^ 

Apart from its other interest, Hutchings' account of Dallas 
supplies a date for the well-known reminiscences of William L. 
Manly, then one of Dallas' teamsters. Manly recalled many years 
later: "There was a ferry here to cross the river and go up along 
north side. Mr. Dallas bought the whole outfit for a small sum 

83. Howard Stansbury, Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the 
Great Salt Lake of Utah, including a Reconnaissance of a New Route 
through the Rocky Mountains (Philadelphia, 1852), pp. 60-61. 

84. MS. diary in Library of Congress. 


and when we were safely over he took with him such ropes as he 
wanted and tied the boat to the bank."*^-"' 

At what date the upper North Platte became fordable in 1849 
is not known, but the Mormon trains in September crossed without 
difficulty. Jesse Morgan, on fording the river with one of the 
Mormon companies September 6, observed that it was "knee 
deep."^" Even before the river became fordable, however, the 
last of a long succession of ferrymen may have abandoned the 
Deer Creek ferry; Hutchings seems to establish the precise date. 

Let us now recapitulate the ferry record for the North Fork of 
the Platte in 1849, including the ferry at Fort Laramie and the 
Mormon Ferry on the upper river. 

At Fort Laramie, those who did not cross themselves seem to 
have been ferried in a flatboat belonging to the fur company. 
So far as now known, the first emigrant company by the Mormon 
Trail from Council Bluffs, north of the Platte, arrived opposite 
the fort on June 6. Various companies are recorded as crossing 
between June 12 and July 11. Those who used the flatboat paid 
$1 or $1.50 per wagon for the privilege, while doing the actual 
ferrying themselves. A single drowning is known on June 6, by 
one of three men who attempted to swim the river here. If there 
were other drownings, they have escaped the record.**^ 

Above the Black Hills near present Casper, the Mormon Ferry, 
manned from May 27, 1849, by 10 Mormons captained by Charles 
Shumway, ferried the first Forty-niners on May 29 and continued 
operations as late as July 15, probably ceasing shortly thereafter. 
Although partial crossings on rafts in the vicinity of the Mormon 
Ferry are recorded before that time, the first serious efforts to 
cross the river independent of the Mormon Ferry were made 
beginning June 11, at a point 4 miles below, 7 or 8 miles east of 
present Casper. References in diaries to a "lower ferry" during 
the week following probably meant this one. There were not at 
first actual commercial facilities here or below, companies making 
their own craft or buying and then selling boats as they arrived 
at and departed from the ferry site. By June 20 a ferry was 
operating 10 miles above Deer Creek (that is, at Muddy Creek), 
another 1 1/2 or 2 miles above Deer Creek; and by June 24 as 
far as 4 miles below Deer Creek. By that time there was probably 

85. William Lewis Manly. Death Valley in '49 (San Jose, 1894), p. 69. 

86. Martha M. Morgan, A Trip Across the Plains in the Year 1849, with 
Notes of a Voyage to California by way of Panama (San Francisco, 1864), 
p. 9. " 

87. The present narrative does not attempt to record drownings by men, 
usually on horseback, who ventured out into the Platte or North Platte 
from either bank of the river, below Fort Laramie. Neither does the record 
extend to men who drowned while fording the Laramie during the course 
of the season, though at least one such mishap occurred. 


no stretch of the river, from above present Casper to below present 
Glenrock, a distance of some 30 miles, where emigrants were not 
crossing or being crossed. 

Commercial operations evolved when men chose to linger at 
the river to make money ferrying their fellow emigrants. By June 
18, as recorded by Alonzo Delano, a Mr. Henderson from New 
Orleans was conducting such a ferry at the Findley site 4 miles 
below the Mormon Ferry. How long he remained is uncertain, 
and indications are that when he took the trail again, he was 
murdered and robbed by two men who had been working for him. 
By June 23 a ferry was reported by Isaac Foster as being con- 
ducted by an emigrant named George R. Codding, from Will 
County, Illinois, apparently at the Muddy Creek site, some 10 
miles above Deer Creek and 1 1 miles or so below the Mormon 
Ferry. Three or four emigrants from Iowa, whose names do not 
appear, but who had women and children with them, operated a 
ferry commercially at Deer Creek from about July 10 (if Hutchings 
is correct) to July 31, when they sold out and moved on toward 
California. This latter date, July 31, probably marks the close 
of commercial ferry operations on the upper North Platte in 1849. 
With the exception of E. Douglas Perkins, who crossed at the 
Mormon Ferry July 15, all diarists now known to have reached 
the North Platte after July 12 crossed at Deer Creek, though J. 
Goldsborough Bruff on July 1 6 tells of an effort by rival ferrymen 
(by him called Mormons) to drum up business for a ferry at some 
point on the 5-mile stretch of river below the mouth of Deer Creek. 

Indications are that about a fourth of the entire emigration 
crossed at the Mormon Ferry, the remainder lower down. At 
the Mormon Ferry, throughout the season, the standard price of 
ferriage appears to have been $3 for wagons, but whether because 
of size, loads, or some other reason, the price for crossing some 
wagons during the middle of the season was reported at $4; and at 
the very close of the season Perkins reports a $2.50 charge. (At 
the same time Perkins reported a rate of $2 for carts, $1 for 
packs, and 50 cents for men.) 

At the ferries farther down, $3 per wagon seems to have been 
an average charge, though in the first fine flush of business a fee 
of $5 is mentioned at the Findley site below the Mormon Ferry. 
Beginning early in July, the charge seems to have declined to 
$2.50 per wagon, then to $2 and even less in special circumstances. 

It is probable that more than half of the entire emigration fer- 
ried itself, using wagon-boxes, or building or acquiring their own 
craft. The going price for the rude ferryboats probably averaged 
$25 to $30; some sales up to $40 are recorded, and others down 
to $16, leaving aside as a special case A. J. McCall's account of 
buying a boat for $7 and selling it for $5. 

Plainly it was safest to cross at the Mormon Ferry under the 
direction of a knowledgeable crew. Most of the recorded casual- 


ties are at sites farther down the river, where carelessness, inex- 
perience, and haste took their toll. However, many of the drown- 
ings were associated with the job of swimming animals across the 
river, and this had to be done no matter where the crossing was 
made. In respect of total casualties, Isaac Foster on June 24 said 
that 24 men had been "drowned and killed," while Cephas Arms 
noted on July 5 that 17 men had been drowned to date; Captain 
Howard Stansbury on July 28 was informed that 28 men had been 
drowned up to his time of crossing. Stansbury thought the number 
exaggerated, but conceivably it was understated. 

Insofar as the record can be pieced out, the casualties may be 
listed as follows: 

June 10, Mormon Ferry. James Brown of Howard County, 
Missouri, drowned attempting to swim a mule across the river. 

June 14, Findley site. Three men from Brown County, Mis- 
souri, drowned when their boat capsized. 

June 18, above Deer Creek. Eyewitness report of drowning 
by Alonzo Delano. "Several" reported by B. R. Biddle to have 
drowned, but perhaps referring to some of the above. 

June 20, at Deer Creek. Drenner (or Drennan) of St. Clairs- 
ville, Ohio (or Tennessee or Virginia) drowned attempting to swim 
a mule. 

June 20, evidently at Deer Creek. Four men drowned by raft 
upsetting; reported by Joseph Hackney and probably referred to 
by Isaac Foster. 

June 20, 2 miles above Deer Creek. Six men drowned, reported 
by Willis and Prichet. Probably also the 6 mentioned by Sheldon 
Young on June 22, and perhaps including the four men mentioned 
by Hackney above. 

June 21, Muddy Creek. Seven men drowned in two days, as 
reported by Joseph Warren Wood. "Several" men drowned here 
about this time, reported by WiUiam J. Watson on June 22, when 
he tells of the recovery of one body. 

June 22, between Deer Creek and Muddy Creek. Five drowned 
at some prior date "in attempting to ride and drive over a lot of 
horses and mules," according to Isaac Foster — these in addition 
to the "several" drowned at one place by the upsetting of their 

June 22. Woman and 7 children rumored to have been 
drowned through the upsetting of a raft at some unspecified place; 
reported by Vincent Geiger. 

June 24, 1 1/2 miles above Deer Creek. Member of Ashland 
Company drowned; reported by Elijah B. Farnham. 

June 25, 2 miles above Deer Creek. Daniel Burgett, Stark 
County, Ohio, of S. R. Dundass' party, drowned attempting to 
swim his horse across. 

June 28, below Deer Creek. Drowning witnessed by Lyman 


July 4, near Mormon Ferry. Two soldiers of the Regiment of 
Mounted Riflemen drowned, having panicked while crossing on a 
raft; described by Osborne Cross. 

July 7, at Muddy Creek. James Henley of St. Louis drowned; 
reported by P. F. Castleman. 

July 24, at Deer Creek. Man drowned attempting to swim his 
horse, reported to Stansbury next day as the 28th drowning of 
the year. 

The above accounting does not include some of the more 
extravagant reports of the Forty-niners, though these certainly 
add color to the story — witness Kirkpatrick's saying at Deer Creek 
on June 20, "Already within our hearing today twelve men have 
found a watery grave while crossing with their stock and effects," 
and the comment of John B. Colton and H. B. Frans that some 
fifty men had been drowned ("in one week," to hear Colton tell 
it), though Cephas Arms in the same company gave a total of 
only 17 casualties to that date, July 5. 

In parting company with the North Platte ferries in 1849, we 
may note as an evident mistake Irene D. Paden's observation, "In 
'49 a few travelers noted a precarious bridge three miles below the 
site of the later bridge near the ferry. It had been built by a fur 
company and was apparently of no importance or use to the 
emigrants. "^^ It is apparent that Mrs. Paden confused the record 
of 1849 with that of 1851, when such a bridge actually was 
observed to exist. ^'^ 

88. Irene D. Paden, The Wake of the Prairie Schooner (New York, 
1943), p. 198. 

89. See Dale L. Morgan, "The Mormon Ferry on the North Platte," 
Annals of Wyoming, vol. 21, July-September, 1949, pp. 116-117. 

Frewen's ranch house on Powder River, Wyoming, in 1880. 
(From the Elmer Brock Collection.) 

;,'. .^ -y 

John M. Young's Kaycee Hotel. (L.R.A. Condit Collection) 

Old Grigg Postoffice. (L.R.A. Condit Collection) 

Photos by Courtesy Thelma G. Condit 

Zhe Mole-iH-tke- Wall 


Thelma Gatchell Condit 

Grigg Post Office 

The Grigg post office down the river about V4 of a mile from 
the old Joe Webb place was established about the same time as 
Barnum was (in the middle '90's) and in like manner took its 
name from the first postmaster, Mr. Alfred Grigg. This place 
and its surroundings on the middle Fork of the Powder is worthy 
of special mention in throwing further light on the outlaw and 
rustling period. Like all other little localities of its time, Grigg 
came into existence as a result of the big foreign cow outfits. The 
men connected with them are now out of jobs and seeking some 
sort of a start of their own, which mostly meant the filing on 
homestead land and getting a small cattle crop of their own. 

Alfred Grigg had come to Wyoming as cook for Frewen 
Brothers. His oldest child had the distinction of being bom at 
Frewen Castle (see picture) which in itself was no little honor, 
the Castle being world famous at the time. The small child even 
had his picture taken on one of the many buffalo robes found all 
over the place. 

One time when his mother was alone at the ranch, an Indian 
came to the house and admiring the wee child attempted to pick 
him up, with intent to steal, the frightened mother thought. Mrs. 
Grigg, a seamstress by trade, had never been out of London in 
her life, until she married and came to Frewen Castle as a bride. 
But, nevertheless, she was equal to the occasion and showed great 
fortitude when she grabbed a heavy iron skillet from the stove 
and gave the Indian a whack on the head to save her first-born. 
After the Castle and its gay, laughing society were no more, Mr. 
Grigg, liking the Powder River Country and its harsh western 
atmosphere and being financially unable to get his family back 
across the waters to England, took up a homestead west, and a 
little south, of present day Kaycee, on the north bank of Middle 
Fork in 1884 (see map). 

Supporting an ever-increasing family on a postmaster's wage 
was not only difficult but downright impossible, so Mr. Grigg 
found himself doing many odd and various jobs to earn the needed 
money. Mostly he cooked for roundups, especially for Tisdale 
and May whose headquarters were on TTT ranch, (see map) 



Alfred Grigg 

Ernest Grigg, first child of Alfred & 

Sarah Grigg, taken at Frewen Castle 

Courtesy Thelina G. Condit 

They were unusually good, generous neighbors and helped the 
Grigg family a lot, in many little friendly ways. 

Mrs. Grigg, Sarah by name, did washing for the cowboys. She 
was a pretty woman, with the very "rosy cheecks" of the English. 
Mr. Grigg himself was quite an imposing figure and really fitted 
for better occupations than "roundup" cook. He had studied 
law and was quite well educated, according to the standards of 
the west, at any rate. Having been connected with the big 
cowmen since his arrival in Johnson County he naturally tended 
to defend their viewpoint in regard to cattle rustling, etc. 

Like all early day post offices Grigg was a gathering place for 
men of all kinds. It was rumored that here the "bounty hunters" 
and Tom Horn came frequently. The place, in fact, became an 
"information booth" of sorts, where persons of supposed authority 
were informed of certain activities and plans. The original post 
office was in a smaller building in the trees to the right of the 
building shown in the picture. (It had burned to the ground prior 
to the taking of the present photograph.) In it there had been a 
big fireplace with the usual sizable stack of fire length wood. 
One log of fair proportions near one side of the hearth was never 
burned but reserved as a sitting place, its top side worn smooth 
by the many and varied rumps it had supported through the years. 


It was slightly scarred here and there too, from the spurs of 
restless riders who had not removed their gear. Whether messages 
of a private nature were secreted some place in the firewood, or 
in this sitting log itself cannot now be proved, but it is known that 
men of every color and description came there and sat on that 
log, (always that log) and were seen reading messages that did 
not come by legitimate stage mail. Many a time a man thus 
occupied was unexpectedly and unpleasantly startled to feel the 
cold steel of a 45-70 poked in his ribs, as he was unceremoniously 
ordered outside, often before he could even crumple the paper 
in his hand or toss it into the burning fireplace coals. But these 
were usually the ones who got careless and overly confident and 
failed to close the door behind them and pause to look around 
the room before going "full blast ahead" to the log. Some of these 
men were never seen again thereabouts, which could mean a lot or 
nothing at all. What happened? Who knows? Many men per- 
manently disappeared in mysterious ways in the Hole-in-the-Wall, 
which was only a step away. Whether they met death or escape — 
who can tell? 

Tom Horn was at Grigg a lot. An old-timer who was then just 
a boy going for the mail said he often heard Mr. Grigg and Tom 
Horn talking about the "black list" and the men that were up to be 
"dry gulched" after the Invasion didn't get the job done. Being 
just another kid playing in the yard he wasn't noticed at his 
eavesdropping and he was too young to get the real import of the 
conversation, but said he was vastly thrilled and also greatly afraid 
because of the things he'd heard spoken. He couldn't figure it 
out at all then and knew he could find out nothing by asking, 
for no one at home talked about these goings on and no one 
anyplace openly took either side, if he could help himself. 

About Vi mile up the road was a log school house. It was 
two roomed, the far one being used as a storeroom. It seems 
that some of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang had grain and hay in 
there for their horses. No telHng when they'd be needing oats 
in an emergency. Mr. Grigg being on the school board took it 
upon himself to keep this room locked. This proved very, very 
annoying to the outlaws — it was senseless time wasting having to 
get the key to unlock this place — it could mean getting caught as 
easily as getting away. Once, upon finding the door locked, an 
outlaw pale with anger, blurted out, "If you don't leave that door 
unlocked I'm going to kill you. I mean it. Do you understand? 
I said I'm going to kill you." 

"Oh! fiddle", said Mr. Grigg and that was the end of that, his 
philosophy of life apparently being "half of stay in' alive is just 
holdin' in." 

Another old-timer, in his youth the tenderfoot type, tells of 
staying all night with the Grigg family. There being no place else 
conveniently available, a bed of sorts was spread for him on the 



Alfred and Sarah Grigg and Children, February 2, 1900. (Standing, left 
to right: Grace, Millie and Art. Seated, left to right: Ed, Johnnie, Etta) 

Courtesy Thelma G. Condit 

front porch. But sleep was not for him that night, it seemed. 
The Grigg children had some pet Belgium hares which kept smell- 
ing his feet whenever they got out from under the covers, which 
must have been often, for he was long and the quilts were short. 
He'd no sooner doze off than he'd come to with a start, feeling a 
coldness twitching over his feet. Stiff with terror lest a snake 
was sharing his bed, he was decidedly provoked to discover his 
tormentor was only an inquisitive Belgium hare, whose wiggly 
nose was quite incapable of doing him bodily harm. Being a 
kind hearted man not given to physical violence and not wishing 
to encroach upon the hospitality of his hosts, he with great mental 
effort refrained from murdering their persistent pets. 

The Joe Webb^ ranch was near the Grigg Post office, (see map) 
Early Webb tells of a time in 1898 when a couple of outlaws were 
overtaken by Natrona County law officers while eating supper in 
Kaycee one evening. Some one had even disposed of their 
horses; at least they weren't where they'd been left, so the outlaws 
took off afoot and, arriving at the Webb place, asked for the loan 
of a couple of horses. (These words were truthfully spoken, for 
everything an outlaw borrowed was either returned or paid for 
outright.) It so happened that the only horse close by at the 

1. Joe was a brother of Lou Webb and has two children still living, 
Early Webb, at Linch, and Stella, now Mrs. O. U. Kirtley, of Kaycee. 


ranch that night was Early's little Indian pony, which was in a 
small pasture close to the house. He was a tricky, onery little 
horse and apparently wasn't in the mood to be ridden over 
"Outlaw Trail," even a short distance. It was a pitch black night, 
you couldn't even see a hand in front of your face. The two 
outlaws chased that horse all over that pasture for hours, it 
seemed — by turns softly coaxing with oats and swearing aloud 
in wild profanity. There is nothing on earth as downright mad- 
dening as being unable to catch a horse when you need him; 
and how especially galling it was to these men whose need was so 
great, who were used to a horse's responding to every word at a 
moment's notice. Regardless of right or wrong, good or bad, the 
little horse finally won out and the running and stumbling around 
in the dark and the pleading and cursing came to an end and 
everything settled down to its former quietness. All that was 
heard was an occasional soft snort from the little horse which 
probably could be taken to mean, "Thank God for the blackness 
of this night. Otherwise I'd probably be lying dead with a bullet 
in my ornery head." 

An Ira Uruwink, a Dutchman, also had a homestead close to 
Grigg and later married one of the school teachers. He was "not 
a very good citizen — was ornery and stingy and tough; always in 
trouble with the law, but never caught in whatever it was he was 
suspected of having done." He was like Manuel Arminto, always 
in a brush with the authorities — but not in the gay, gentlemanly 
way Manuel was. Everybody liked Manuel and he was a good 

Manuel was a friend of Tom Barnum; they'd become acquainted 
in the Union Army, and both had come west to seek their fortunes. 
Manuel was homesteading up on what is now the Jim Harlan- 

Manuel Arminto, though rather small of stature, was a hand- 
some fellow (about 5' 5", weighing around 140 lbs.) He was a 
Castilean Spaniard by birth, light complexioned, brown haired 
and blue eyed. He used to ride a pureblooded Arabian horse, 
a dappled sorrel called "Apple". He was one of the "best cow 
horses that ever hit the range. Couldn't a horse in the country 
outrun him." 

Manuel was the only man in the Hole-in-the-Wall rustling gang 
who was a two-gun man, "he was dynamite with both hands". 
He was dynamite in the cattle business, too; he started by means 
of a long rope, an iron ring and his good cow horse "Apple". 
Everybody knew he threw a long rope but no one could ever 

2. John R. Smith later got this plan from Manuel — also Arminto, Wyo., 
a small railroad station at the end of the red wall in Natrona Co. is named 
for Manuel's family. 


prove it. At least they didn't prove it. The first year on his home- 
stead one steer raised him fourteen calves. 

Manuel was always being arrested, first in one place and then 
in another. On one such occasion it seems that he was actually 
on the verge of being convicted, so he stood up before the judge 
with his flashing smile and said; "Every other time you've had 
me in here I've been very much guilty and you let me go unharmed. 
This time, for once only, I'm very, very much innocent and you 
plan to harm me. Now, good sir, does that seem quite right to 
you — does this seem fair? What kind of a law you got that does 
these things wrong; backwards?" 

So the judge let him go again — seemed as if they could never 
get anything on him that would hold, for one flimsy excuse or 

On another occasion Manuel said to the Judge presiding, "Sir, 
it looks like the Lord oughta step in and straighten these things 
out, because by now He surely oughta see nons of us are smart 
enough to do it." 

Manuel's philosophy of life was wrapt up in the following 
remark of his — "The way I figure there aint no harm in steahn' 
from a thief. The big feflows got their start that way — and I might 
as well get mine the same way. What's good enough for them's 
good enough for me — who aint so smart." Manuel was like the 
boy caught stealing his friends' toys. The indignant friend said 
with tears in his eyes — partly from anger and partly from disap- 
pointment at his companion's perfidy — "Jackie, why do you always 
steal my stuff?" and Jackie very nonchalantly replied, "I can't 
help it, Johnnie, I can't help stealing your stuff. All my family 

Manuel was clever and charming of manner, he was a rustler 
and a gambler, always in trouble and yet forever light hearted and 
gay — never harboring a grudge or seeming to care one way or 
another what came to pass. 

The same held true for all the family — they all were gay and 
irresponsible and friendly. 

Mrs. Arminto was taller than her husband and rather on the 
chunky side. She was a nice looking woman with brown hair and 
blue eyes. Her greatest attraction was her voice, which was sweet 
and low toned. The Armintos had three children, two boys, 
Frank and Mannie, and one girl, Eva. 

They were a musical family, Manuel himself being a "fiddler 
from way back". Mrs. Arminto, Frank and Eva were piano 
players. All were in demand for schoolhouse dances. Frank often 
played alone sitting at the piano pounding away lost to the world. 
Frank didn't care much about rustling cattle; his taste lay along 
other lines, namely clothing, especially suits of clothes. He 
seemed unable or unwiUing at least, to resist lifting, if possible, 
any suit that appealed to him. Sometimes he'd be seen wearing 


3 suits of clothes, one on top of the other. He lacked his father's 
ambition and was content with easier to get spoils, but he was a 
piano player, a good one, you had to hand him that. 

In the Johnson County Sheriff's License Record Book it states 
that on Oct. 1st, 1882, Manuel Arminto was issued a retail liquor 
license costing $100 at Sheridan (then a part of Johnson County). 
Apparently one year of such business proved unprofitable or 
unsatisfactory to parties concerned as there is no record of his 
being issued another liquor license at any future date. The 
Arminto family also lived in Buffalo at one time where Eva 
attended school. She was a very attractive girl as seen by her 

Another interesting local color character who homesteaded near 
Grigg was Jack Totty. (often called Toddy, which is incorrect). 
Jack was peculiarly slender, of medium build with a thin narrow 
face and long drooping mustache. He was redfaced and black 
haired. His eyes were sharp and grey, like steel; he seemingly 
could look right through a person or could if he hadn't been sort 
of cross-eyed, this impression being no doubt partly brought about 
by the fact that Jack had one glass eye (or so it was rumored). 
Cowboys used to dare the children to ask old Jack to take out his 
glass eye and if he would they'd give them a dime. But none of 
them ever quite worked up that much nerve, for Jack's manner 
did not brook such familiarity. 

Jack's glass eye brings to mind another old cowboy and round- 
up cook by the name of Sam Davis, who the story says had a 
glass eye that wouldn't shut. Sam was forever snooping around 
cow camps at nite looking for possible whiskey bottle caches. 
He got along fine as long as the moon was low, but always got 
into trouble when the moon was shining for the boys could spot 
that glass eye of his anywhere on a moonlit night, for it shone out 
clear and red like skunk eyes do at night. -^ 

Totty was an old Texas cowpuncher, no one knew much of his 
past. He became quite a drinking man as the years rolled past and 
an acquaintance said of him, "Jack's eye is sort of bleary — not 
so much a defect in the eye as a defect in the way he's been treatin' 

A little below where Red Fork comes into Middle Fork the 
river runs very close to a high, blue shale hill. Grigg people 
wishing to cross the river have to go either above or below this 
shale hill. In high water time they usually went up to the Scherck 

3. An old-timer tells an interesting fact about killing rattlesnakes by 
moonlight. In the spring when they are coming out of the hills from the 
dens and cross bare ground (like a road) you can shoot them by the 
hundreds, for their eyes glitter like diamonds, making excellent targets. 




bridge on the Barnum road^ which was the only safe way to cross 
the river. 

One spring the Grigg people built a raft of cottonwood logs 
in order to save time in doing their ranch work on the south side. 
Sometimes it was possible to swim a saddle horse across, but they 
couldn't get a team and wagon over, which was most inconvenient 
when there was work to be done on the other side. In winter 
time they sometimes crossed on the ice but this was treacherous 
and dangerous when the ice was starting to break up, and who 
could tell for sure when ice was really safe? Like one time Jack 
crossed the river when it had begun to thaw. His horse, afraid 
lest he break through was going along with head down, chewing 
the bit and taking little mincing steps as if trying to keep from 
putting his full weight on the ice. Just as he was about to reach 
the opposite bank, pop went the crust and the horse fell in up to 
his haunches. You could hear old Jack screaming and cussing for 
miles around as he tried to get the animal out. Seems as if Jack 
was noisy about whatever he did. He seemed to enjoy attracting 
attention, was always "cake walking", thumbs hooked in sus- 
penders and singing vulgar songs. 

One time Joe Webb and Totty were trailing a shipping bunch 
to Clearmont. They'd come to the Watt stage stop below Buffalo 
where they planned to pasture the cattle for the night. Here 
the trail went between two buildings just before it crossed Clear 
Creek. The animals, for no accountable reason except that they 
were tired and confused, refused to go between the buildings 
and started bawling and milling around looking for a way to get 
away from it all. Old Jack couldn't stand the delay and whipped 
out his six-shooter and sent bullets pinging every which way, 
yelling like a Comanche all the while. Needless to say the critters 
took off straight ahead, as they should have at first, and no one 
was hit by a stray slug. 

One time Jack went down to the Youngs' Cafe to get himself 
a cup of black coffee to take back up to the saloon. Being slightly 
inebriated and unsteady of arm, some of the hot liquid slopped 
over onto his hand, which so infuriated the man that he drew out 
his gun and proceeded to shoot the cup until it fell in pieces from 
his hand onto the ground. Such crazy action seemed to give 
Jack some sort of stupid satisfaction. It seems that when things 
didn't go to suit him he invariably took recourse in shooting; and 
he was either smart or accidentally lucky with his aiming, for he 
was never known to have seriously harmed anyone or anything. 
He just had to show off and appear tough. Nobody ever took 

4. Place now owned by Elmer Gosney, easily located because of the 
sulphur spring bubbling up close along the river bank and sending forth 
its rotten egg stench for passersby to breathe. 


him or his fits very seriously though, as is illustrated by the follow- 
ing incident. One time when Jack was really quite drunk and 
acting plenty obstreperous, the sheriff arrested him and put him 
in jail to sober up. However, he did not lock the door, which 
made it very funny next morning when Totty called loudly for 
"water" and the sheriff told him to come on out. Jack would 
even shoot up the back bar in his own saloon if the mood hit him. 

In 1898 he and Ben Champion opened up a second saloon in 
Kaycee, being issued a retail liquor license Dec. 15th for $100. 
In December of 1899 and of 1900 Jack Totty & Company also 
obtained a license for $100, but in 1901 the fee was raised to 
$300., probably signifying that his business had grown or the 
County Sheriff's office needed more money from liquor establish- 
ments.-"' Tottys' saloon building was located where the late Harve 
Turk's Hardware Store was (or just directly south of it). 

It might be interesting to note at this time the cost of the 
various licenses connected with the early day Johnson County 
saloons, which took in a lot of territory before the County was 
divided in 1888. For instance retail liquor licenses cost anywhere 
from $25 to $175 per year, depending upon the size of the place 
and extent of business turnover. A billiard table license was from 
$10 to $20 per year; dealing faro, $50 per year; wholesale liquor, 
$40 per year; pool table, $5 each per year; Monte game, $150 
per year; and Wheel of Fortune game, $150 per year. 

Totty's saloon was popular with the Hole-in-the-Wall gang. It 
was a gathering place for drinkers and gamblers and those desiring 
nothing more than mere sociability, which took in trappers, 
freighters, cowboys, and homesteaders. Along about this time 
"Near Beer" came into existence. A cowboy, a big rawboned 
drinking man, was heard to disgustedly remark, "Whoever named 
this here beverage sure was a damned poor judge of distance." 

Dusty Jim, a breed Indian and a "poker-playin' fool," was the 
paid dealer for the establishment. Jim was rather a slight fellow, 
always very neat with his dark, straight hair invariably smoothed 
down flatter with grease or hair oil, ever very nifty looking in an 
unwholesome, pale sort of way. He carried a six-shooter in each 
boot top for show, and, they said, had a sleeve model for real 
emergencies. The unforgettable thing about this dealer of cards 
was his long, slim, dark-skinned fingers — real artistically modeled 
they were — and graceful. One felt intrigued watching the hands 
riffle the cards, which experience really left you unprepared for 
the feeling you got when you looked at his eyes which were shifty 
and weak, dark with a yellow streak. They were not good eyes, 
they weren't even bad eyes, like Black Henry Smith's, they were 

5. John Nolan had the first hquor license issued at Kaycee in 1897. 


just plain cowardly eyes, neither warm looking nor cold. They 
made you think "nothing plus nothing equals nothing" and that's 
what Dusty Jim was, just nothing, a forever lukewarm personality. 
When disputes arose and trouble began to brew as it was bound 
to do at times, Jim would shoot out the kerosene lantern hanging 
from the ceiling and quick as a flash tip over the gambling table, 
hiding behind it until he could lamely sneak out the back way. 

One time two hilarious cowboys rode into town and entered 
Jack's and proceeded to shoot out the lights. Old Jack yelled 
out into the dark "Get down and hide you sons-of-bitches, or I'll 
kill you." A laughing drawl replied, "Jack, old man, how come 
you all knows our names?" After which the lamps were replaced, 
friendly hands slapped on backs and drinking resumed as if 
nothing out of the ordinary had happened, and it hadn't actually. 
Old Totty finally ended up herding sheep for Richie Young 
down below Sussex. One time at the Trabing dipping vats the 
men were having trouble getting the sheep to go through the big 
trough full of treated water. Old Jack, ever the grandstand player, 
jumped into the big vat, clothes and all, and swam the full length 
of it to show the sheep how it was done. For the first time in his 
life he'd forgotten to holler and shoot. His friends said "Sheep- 
herding had sure outdone Old Jack." 

( Another man who was seen often at Grigg was Adam Keith, 
commonly called Ad, a cowpuncher of no little reknown. Ad 
came up from Nebraska with E. U. Murphy in the late '70's.*' ) 

In 1874 Mr. Murphy came to Wyoming and with Civil War 
script got himself a piece of land on Murphy Creek near the mouth 
of Willow Creek, not too far from TTT ranch (Tisdale & May). 
He'd made up his mind to stop when he came to a good place and 
he knew this was it. He bought a couple of oxen and broke up 
the sod and worked around until he got enough money to go back 
to Nebraska to buy some cattle of his own and get his family. 

vjCharlie Morgareidge, Charlie Barber, Roscoe Thomas, Ad 
Keith, Marion Fagams, and Ira German came up with him this 
time and helped trail his Shorthorn cattle. The first five of these 
men were cowboys.) Ira German was a carpenter he'd brought 
along so there'd be no delay in putting up his ranch buildings. 
The cowboys scattered, as was their custom, and went their sep- 
arate ways. Roscoe Thomas eventually went to the pen, for as 
Waugh said, "His rope got kinda sticky, too many cows got 
caught in it". 

The nearest neighbors the Murphy family had were Hank De- 
voes over the wall to the west on the Bar C (Peters and Alston 
outfit). They had to ride horseback through Mlurphy Creek Gap, 

6. Waugh Murphy, his son, is now Uving at Kingsburg, California, and 
to him I'm indebted for this information. 


and over the Hole-in-the-Wall Trail to see the Devoes, so didn't 
get to visit them too often. On one such get-together the Devoes 
had a new little puppy which the children were playing with in the 
yard. Waugh's young brother had carefully carried his ragdoU in 
his arms all the way over, one his mother had made and which 
he loved very dearly and had named "Jesus". All of a sudden 
the child rushed into the house, his face all puckered up with 
crying and, running into his mothers arms, sobbed, "Mama, that 
puppy's run away with Jesus." 

Mr. Murphy soon began working for Frewens. He became 
their "purchasing agent", deciding which cattle would go as 
feeders, which as beef, when and where they'd be shipped, etc. 
Moreton Frewen dubbed him "the wise old cattleman" and he 
became quite an important man — but this is another story. 

.Ad Keith stayed in the Powder River country, too, cowboying 
here and there. He knew all sorts of interesting things, like how 
the old-time cowboys used to tell time when out on night herd 
with a big shipping bunch. The greatest danger at such times was 
a stampede; sometimes a little thing like the striking of a match 
would spook the bunch. Even the chuck wagon was always from 
V2 to % of a mile away, so any noise preparing a meal wouldn't 
alarm the beef herd. Since the boys standing guard didn't dare 
Igiht a match to tell when the two hour stretch of night guard was 
up they'd figure out a way to tell time from the sky. They held 
their hands spread out flat on top of each other, thumb of left 
hand resting on little finger of right hand, raised just above the 
head, in a position so that the hands covered the "big dipper", 
the bottom star of the constellation being directly under the left 
thumb. Two hours had passed when this star would be above 
the width of the two hands (which were held in same position 
above the head each time). 

Also the old-time cowboys used to be able to predict the 
weather, laying out in their bedrolls on the ground, looking up 
at the sky. If a lot of stars fell in the east (or vice versa) a wind 
or storm (or maybe both) would come from that direction next 

Ad also told of the roundup food. Breakfast was bacon, sour- 
dough biscuits and black coffee. Dinner and supper, black coffee 
(never sugar or cream), beef, either boiled or fried (and as much 
as you could eat), and sourdough biscuits. He said, "Bacon 
grease was our only butter. Bacon was pretty cheap food in them 
days — you could buy 1000 pounds for $90. We always got a 
six months supply in case the rivers got too high to cross and 
we'd run out before we could get some place to buy more." 

"The only sweets we had was jam, which came in 10 pound to 
25 pound wooden pails and was always red. Once in awhile we 
got dried prunes or apples, which were always full of worms. 


Cook had to cut 'em out and someitmes he'd be in a hurry or get 
careless and miss a few." 

"Times have sure changed now", he said when an old man, 
"except worms still come in apples, I guess. Now-a-day folks 
is always doctorin'. Only fellows who died in the early days were 
ones bucked off or killed by stampedin' cattle. Men were too 
tough and the life too rough for sickly people. There just weren't 
none." He also said, "There's no beef today like the good old 
'grass fat' beef — this new manufactured stuff they feed livestock 
sure ruins the flavor of meat." 

One time they had a roundup cook who had a bitch dog he 
always took with him. He thought a lot of Girl, as he called her. 
Once while out on a roundup Girl had a litter of pups, six to be 
exact and the old fellow was as "proud as a peacock" about them 
pups of hers. Nothing was too fancy for her and her offsprings. 
One day they'd made a big circle. The cook had Girl and the 
pups in a box on the floor of the wagon and also had set the 
sourdough jar on the floor to keep it from being knocked about 
and spilled enroute. A porcelain plate covered the jar on which 
was placed a good sized rock for weight to hold it in place. That 
evening it was later than usual when they made camp and the 
cook, as was his custom, saw to his dog family the first thing. 
To his dismay he was one pup short. He literally tore the wagon 
apart looking for the pup. He raved and ranted and sent cowboys 
back along the trail to see if the little thing had in some way 
bounced out of the wagon, although everybody knew this was very 
unlikely. He was in such a dither he wouldn't even prepare the 
usual meal — the boys went to bed that night with no hot bread 
in their bellies and needless to say the whole outfit was in a 
disgruntled mood and thoroughly provoked having the entire 
routine upset because of the disappearance of one measly pup. 
The old fellow spent most of the night going frantically through 
every box of grub over and over again, he just couldn't rest until 
he figured out where that pup went. The next morning bright 
and early he got the sourdough jug out preparatory to mixing up 
hot cakes, and while stirring around in the jar his spoon hit a 
lump which, when pulled out, proved to be the missing pup. 
Running his hand down over the body he squeezed the dough 
clinging to the pup back into the jar and with tears in his eyes 
wrapped the drenched little thing in his bandana handkerchief 
and buried him under a sage brush. (In his tearing around he'd 
never noticed that the plate and rock had jarred off the sourdough 
jug while going over the rough road.) 

^Ad Keith, at a casual glance, gave the impression that he was 
jusl like rain on the roof, monotonous and harmless, but he wasn't 
that way at all. He was an odd looking man with "one shut eye," 
which made him look downright sinister at times and then again 
gave him a somewhat ludicrous appearance, which did make him 


seem harmless and inane.: As a matter-of-fact he was quite a 
mysterious fellow, like the Hole-in-the-Wall itself — you couldn't 
quite figure him out. He seemed one way one time and another 
way the next time you saw him. The law knew he was communi- 
cating with the outlaws, probably packing in grub and ammunition 
and messages, but catching Ad was like putting your hand on the 
rainbow, he was that elusive. They'd follow him out of Kaycee 
or Grigg, close enough behind to feel confident of keeping up. 
Now Ad and horse would be outlined on the crest of the hill 
ahead and next thing completely gone — disappearing into thin air! 
He was cagey and cute all right and always sharp and shrewd on 
a buy or trade, and there wasn't anything going on along the 
Powder that he didn't know about first hand. He was everywhere 
and nowhere. 

f Along in the late '90's Ad decided what he needed now was a 
home and a bride. The former being easy to accomplish, he took 
up a homestead on Beaver Creek near the place where it empties 
into the Middle Fork, up Barnum way. After building his cabin 
he started looking over the woman situation, which left him plenty 
discouraged. This was the "Cat in the woodpile" for there was a 
very definite dirth of marriageable females close at hand. But his 
big chance came in 1892 when he went to Chicago with a shipment 
of beef. When a train load of beef went to market enough cow- 
boys went along so that each fellow was responsible for two cars 
of stock. They had to see that none got down and got trampled 
on, and had to oversee the feeding and watering at "stock stops" 
along the way. 

(After the cattle were disposed of, as customary on such occa- 
sions, the boys stayed over four or five days (or until they'd spent 
all their wages ) to take in the sights of the big city. The World's 
Fair was the big attraction this year and assembled in Chicago were 
forty world beauties. Adam became intimately acquainted with 
one of these girls, a certain Eve Tillman, and married her imme- 
diately, before she could change her mind and choose one of his 
more handsome companions from Wyoming. For this most august 
occasion Adam found that he hadn't a clean shirt to his name 
(and no money to buy one) so had to borrow one from one of the 
cowboys. It was ill fitting, and truthfully, Adam did not make an 
exactly dashing figure of a man, clotheswise, for his beautiful Eve; 
but in spite of his apparel a lot of the romance of the old West 
clung to Adam, enough of something anyway to please his lovely 
bride. Perhaps his "one-shut eye" giving him that shrewd look 
intrigued the woman, that and his physical bigness. At any rate 
Adam and Eve created quite a sensation upon arriving on Powder 
River; and let it here be said that never in the years to come did 
Eve ever let Adam or anyone else for that matter, Jorget that she 
had been one of the Forty World Beauties in 1892.1 

/ Adam at once started up in the cattle and horse- business. He 



became an expert runner of wild horses, which when caught he 
sold. Being in the habit of snooping around in all sorts of out- 
of-the-way places looking for wild horses, he ran into no end of 
interesting experiences. He really covered the country, no telling 
when or where he'd turn up. Mostly he traveled alone, too. He 
never had too many close friends. ) 

Once while up on the slope chasing horses, Ad, skirting a small 
aspen patch, unexpectedly came face to face with an old grizzly 
mother and her two half-grown cubs. It was at once apparent 
that she didn't like either his looks or his abrupt interference, for 
she fiercely charged him. The only weapon Ad had at the time 
was a .45 pistol. His cool presence of mind and accurate marks- 
manship resulted in his killing all three bears, without a scratch 
to himself or his horse. Nearly all horses go crazy-wild when 
confronted with a bear (sometimes even "bear-scent"). Ad 
neither lost control of his horse nor the situation, when a split 
second's difference in acting could have spelled certain disaster 
in one way or another. It seemed that Adam could get along 
better with one good eye than most men could with two. He was 
a man who never, even for a moment, failed to observe the things 
about him. He was always alert, watching and looking, just an 
instinctive habit he had, I guess. Some folks called it snooping, 
but it wasn't that in the usual meaning of the word, anyway. 

That's how one spring after the thaw, he found six horses' skele- 
tons with the shrivelled-up skin still on, on a benchland ledge 
under the rim of the red wall over south aways. The story was all 
too plain to Adam — how the little bunch of horses had gone onto 
the place late in the fall to crop the tall, dried grass and the first 
big snow had come to soon and filled the exit trail. It had been a 
bad storm and there never had come a time when the horses 
could get back off the bench soon enough to save their lives. 
Maybe they'd been some of the wild ones he'd chased and they'd 
gone there feeUng safe and hidden and instead had died of starva- 
tion inch by inch, day by day. In the bigness of the country no 
one had chanced to see them up high, there on the wall ledge. 

Some few years later Adam was riding the wall land south of the 
Bar C. He had been doing some fast, hard going over rocky 
trails when he noticed that his horse had sprung a limp. Upon 
investigating he found that the animal had lost a left front shoe. 
This necessitated his giving up the chase for that day, so he headed 
slowly toward home. Presently he noticed shod horse tracks 
leading to a nearby gap. Following these along the narrow trail 
he was surprised to find a saddle horse tied to a mahogany bush. 
He at once saw that the horse had been there some little time, 
from the numerous tracks around the bush made by the impatient 
hoofs. He saw no one near, and it was very evident that the 
horse was not happy there at all; he was most restless, jerking his 


head and continually milling around as much as he could in the 

Ad got off his horse and carefully looked around. Still no sign 
of anybody or anything, except the horse. The trail was rocky 
and shaley and would leave no sign (track) anyway. But Ad's 
sixth sense kept telling him that something was wrong here. He 
hollered loudly several times, but the only response was a faint 
echo from the wall above. So he tied his horse back on the trail 
and began cautiously climbing until he came to a wider place on 
the high narrow ledge. He thought he had heard some sound, so 
called again. He did hear a noise from directly below him, so 
crawled on hands and knees to the edge of the ledge, where 
peering over he saw a man lying on a small outcrop of rock part 
way down the side of the red wall. How he'd gotten there or 
what he'd been trying to do in the first place didn't occur to Adam. 
He saw the man was in a bad way and he knew he had to get him 
down somehow. By clever maneuvering and extreme patience and 
coolheadedness he got the man off the outcrop. How he'd actually 
been able to do it, he himself couldn't understand or afterwards 
tell; for, in some places, and these always where least expected 
and most dangerous, the red wall is deceivingly crumbly and will 
come off at the drop of a hat. 

The poor man was in a pitiable condition. He'd been following 
a coyote in a trap and accidentally slipped off the ledge, landing 
heavily on the outcropping rock many feet below. When he hit, 
he had broken his back. After lying there one day and one night 
and part of the second day he felt sure he'd never be found. He 
had yelled until he was hoarse and, suffering such agonies of pain, 
had come to the conclusion he'd had absolutely all he could take, 
all it was humanly possible to endure. He had somehow managed 
to pull off one legging he was wearing and laboriously wrote his 
will on the inside, but it turned out to be only a scribbly jumble 
and didn't make any readable sense. 

In the fall he'd lost his rifle and had nothing else weapon like 
except his pocket knife. When he, at last, had it out of his pocket 
and the blade open to cut his throat he had become too weak to 
inflict a fatal cut and had only succeeded in carving surface wounds 
up and down the muscles on both sides of his neck. Here the 
flies had been at work, adding to his already unbearable misery. 
He then sought to slash the vein in his wrist. He'd been more 
successful here and was bleeding profusely when Adam reached 
him. The turkey vultures were circling above, soaring motionless 
in wide circles, holding their long wings slightly motionless in 
in wide circles, holding their long wings slightly above the horizon- 
tal line. These weird scavengers of the air with their little naked 
red heads, (so small that in the sky they seemed to be entirely 
headless) are ever silent and sinister, flying around with never- 
ending patience waiting to get their fill when the time comes. 


Sometimes first one and then another, and another, will light on a 
craig close by, moving their silly ugly heads restlessly around as if 
taking a closer look at their victim. If they'd make a racket like 
the magpies, it would be less weird. A vulture is as quiet and per- 
sistent as death itself, just there waiting for the time to come. 

Adam gave the poor man a shot of whiskey and tied his neck 
scarf on his arm above the bleeding wrist and somehow, God 
helping, got him to the Bar C ranch house. The doctor, being 
summoned, arrived the next day toward evening and sewed up the 
neck wounds by the light of a kerosene lamp as the man lay on 
the kitchen table. Seeing his sorry condition the doctor gave him 
some dope to ease his pain and next day took him to Buffalo 
where he died 18 days later.'^ 

By this time the Joe Dixons in Kaycee had sold out their hotel 
business to a Mr. and Mrs. John M. Young (see picture). The 
Youngs had come to Johnson County from Nebraska in 1894 
and settled on a ranch of 400 acres IVi miles east of town on 
Powder River*^ and later bought the hotel. An old newspaper 
clipping reads thus in regard to the Youngs: "John and Mrs. 
Young attend to all household duties. They have greatly improved 
the hotel property and made of it a first class hostelry. There 
are sixteen guest rooms, and porches and verandas will be added, 
so that it will be hard to find a more pleasant place to stop at. 
Mr. and Mrs. Young are prosperous and frugal and are on the 
high road to prosperity and riches." 

It may have been a fine place in summer and undoubtedly was 
luxuriant considering the time and the place, but the rooms upstairs 
were plenty frigid in the winter time as illustrated by the following 

One below-zero weekend a certain cowboy was staying at 
Youngs while spending a few days celebrating. One morning he 
had just come downstairs for a somewhat belated breakfast. He 
wasn't in a very happy mood, for he'd spent a shivery night above. 
A belated stage driver from the south had just arrived and was 
standing over the potbellied stove in an effort to warm his stiff 
hands. His buffalo hide coat and beard were all frost and icicles, 
and his nose and cheeks red with cold. The shivering cowboy 
joined him over the stove, rubbing his own blue hands and said 
in a loud voice so all around could hear, "Now which of these nice 
pleasant rooms did you occupy last night, my good man?" 

It was a little unusual for a cowboy to stay in a hotel in those 
days. Ordinarily they had their own bedrolls and slept in the 

7. From what I can find out the man was "Gold-tooth Hanson", a 
trapper coming from Butte, Montana. 

8. On the Olf Jarrard place just across the river north from the present 
Joe Rissler place. 


livery stable haymows. Once one such cowboy climbed into the 
hay loft about 2 A. M. one morning. After reaching the top safely 
enough he seemed unable to locate his bedroll and kept wandering 
around in the darkness, stumbling this way and that in the hay 
until he accidentally stepped into one of the holes above a stall 
and fell down into the barn, landing on the side of the manger. 
In his surprise he yelled out loudly, "Oh, sweet Jesus, I've broke 
my hip". And he had. 

Along about this time a certain Leonard Beard (later a Johnson 
County deputy sheriff) came to the Powder River country and, 
liking what he saw, decided the little settlement of Kaycee needed 
a larger and better hotel. So he built what is now the main part 
of the "Feed Rack". He also built a feed barn and corral where 
K. Hibbon's cement building now stands (part of the old corral 
is still there ) . It was a good thing he did this, for the old Dixon 
hotel burned down soon after the Youngs bought it. 

Later the Grigg family moved to Kaycee and bought the Beard 
hotel and holdings, which they improved considerably. They ran 
the place for many years and the hotel business was all right, for 
the little community had its share of people coming and going. 
In fact, it was quite a busy, lively place. 

There was a fine race track on the flat west of town, for horse 
racing was a main sport enjoyed by all classes of men. As an 
old-timer said, "It is hard to imagine the large numbers of horses 
in this country in the early days". The Englishmen from over 
Big Horn way would buy any horse that a cowboy could ride, to 
ship to Europe for the Boer War. If a cowboy was thrown, the 
horse was not purchased. Knowing the caliber of the riders this 
meant that the biggest share of the horses left in the country were 
really tough ones, (or some special prize or pet horses an owner 
wouldn't sell for any price). It took a real man to ride on 
roundups (or any place) then. If he couldn't ride his string, he 
was promptly out of a job. So much of the horse racing material 
was dangerous stuff — might run all right and it might buck instead, 
which made everything just that much more exciting and challeng- 
ing. Like the time a fellow's horse took off down the river, crazy- 
fast and hit a fence head on, turning a complete somersault in 
the air and landing on his back with his rider underneath. A dead 
man then, though, wasn't thought much about. Nobody knew 
him very well and things of even such a tragic nature were taken 
in stride and the show went on. 

As an old fellow said, "He's just as dead as if he'd died natural 
— he's just as dead as if somebody'd killed him on purpose". 

An oldish man from up behind the wall had a little chunky 
bay horse he called pigeon. "Run, I'll say he can run," said his 
owner. He'd take off like he was burning up the earth, but you'd 
have to get off and drive a stake to see if he really was going any 


place. He'd just fly along but he never seemed to get anyplace. 
At least he was safe to ride. 

Even though the women didn't participate in the horse racing 
they had plenty of "horsey" excitement on their own every once 
in awhile, like once when May Gardner" came to town on her 
way to Buffalo. She stopped at the old 76 ranch to pick up Mrs. 
Tisdale and children who were accompanying her to Buffalo. 
May had an old buckboard into which they bundled all the kids, 
(her own two included). Mrs. Tisdale even took her canary in 
its cage, since she had no one to leave it with. May was a nervy 
woman and drove her team sitting way up on the edge of the seat. 
This time she was driving one fast horse and one slow horse. She 
kept cracking her whip on the rump of the slow horse to make 
him perk up a bit, saying, "Come on, now Jake, come on old 
boy!" This didn't exactly please the horse's partner and he'd jerk 
sideways each time she cracked the whip, jolting the occupants 
of the buckboard considerably. Also one rein was shorter than 
the other and suddenly when the horses seemed to have hit a 
stride favorable to both. May dropped the short rein. Being an 
excitable person she jumped out of the buggy with the crazy 
notion of stopping the horses by grabbing the bridle. Mrs. 
Tisdale, fearful lest her beloved canary be hurt, threw the cage 
overboard. Just as it landed the team swerved and turned back 
and ran over the cage, canary and all, and everyone was dumped 
pell-mell out of the buggy which had by now tipped completely 
over onto its side, with poor old Jake down. His partner, visibly 
sick of the whole mess, began rearing and kicking until he freed 
himself and took off over the hill. In the fracas he had landed a 
staggering blow on Jake's shoulder. May saw at once that he 
was unfit for the road when she managed to get him to his feet, 
so she unharnessed him and left him by the side of the road while 
she took off to the nearest ranch, which luckily wasn't too far 
away. Here she bought another horse for $65, and got hold of a 
cowboy to catch the runaway and repair the damage to harness 
and buggy (which was slight, everything considered) and away 
they went to Buffalo, with no apprehension whatever as to whether 
the two horses would approve of this new arrangement. The only 
casualty was the poor little dead canary, who would undoubtedly 
have preferred this quick violent end to a slow calm death of 
starvation at home. It should be stated that in spite of her 
excitable nature May Gardner was a good horsewoman and she 
had learned it the hard way, too. 

In addition to running the hotel, Mr. Grigg served as Justice 
of the Peace for many years. He was very philosophical when 

9. Wife of Tom Gardner, who lived on a ranch up in the red wall 
country. (The present-day Alfred Brock ranch.) 


administering justice, as is noted from the following incident. 
Two shameless women were brought before him as disturbing the 
peace in the form of a hair pulling match. In the midst of the 
ceremony in rushed a gentleman who began telling how it all had 
taken place, who was to blame, etc. 

Mr. Grigg solemnly rapped his gavel on the table and said in a 
deep voice, "I pronounce you guilty, sir, guilty of butting in, and 
hereby fine you $25 and costs. Case dismissed." 

Upon another occasion a woman came before him, claiming 
some cowhand had insulted her on the street. Mr. Grigg, in order 
to make the proceedings very ritualistic, asked her how old she 
was. She replied, "Forty-three years, sir". "Did you not come 
before me a year or two ago, my good woman?" 

"I did, your Honor, and I was havin' the same trouble then". 

"Did you not state at that time that you were forty-three years 
of age?" 

"I did, your Honor". 

"Well, now just how do you propose to explain that?" peering 
at her over his spectacles. 

"Well, you see, sir," she replied, very indignantly, "I'll have you 
know I'm not one of these women who say one thing one time and 
somethin' else the next." 

Judge Grigg had a most dignified "official personality," or front, 
which he put on at such times — a sort of "glassy eyed" coldness 
behind his spectacles that put many a transgressor on needles and 
pins. If he said a thing, it held, regardless of the status of per- 
sonages involved. This went for his hotel business as well. 

One day a very wealthy Englishwoman going to the Bar C had 
come in on the south stage and was eating the noon meal at the 
Grigg Hotel. Completely ignoring, and very likely not even having 
noticed, the big sign in the lobby stating "Absolutely no dogs 
allowed in here at any time", she was sitting at the table holding 
her precious little poodle dog in her lap. He was a small creature 
and certainly very meek and well-behaved, and if the truth be told, 
much cleaner physically than some of the men at the table — his 
table-manners were much in his favor, too, by contrast. 

His mistress was feeding him tiny bits of food, coaxing with 
honeyed baby words, when Mr. Grigg appeared in the doorway 
and with no warning whatever grabbed the dog by the scruff of 
the neck and pitched him unceremoniously out the front door and 
he lit in the mud on the road. The woman, almost speechless 
with righteous indignation said, "That is my dog. You — You 
can't do that to my dog, sir." 

"Lady, I don't give one damn whose dog that is, he's staying 
out." And he did. 

Mr. Grigg at night wore a white nightshirt and matching night- 
cap, the peak of which folded over and hung on one side of his 
head. When latecomers entered the lobby he'd stand at the head 


of the stairs barefooted and call down in a loud voice instructions 
as to registering and finding available sleeping space — a most 
commanding figure of a man, spectacles on the end of his nose, 
and at the same time presenting a comical appearance with his 
long, bony legs, slightly bowed, extending below the short night- 

One night quite late a noisy customer was heard stomping 
around below (none of the other guests were disturbed — people 
were sound sleepers in those days). He was very slow in comply- 
ing with Mr. Griggs instructions; in fact, he didn't even answer, 
but at last appeared at the foot of the stairs, a tall, skinny man 
standing there in his long, none-too-clean underwear, hat on head, 
muddy boots on feet, a six-shooter in one hand and a whiskey jug 
in the other, weaving back and forth like a willow in the wind. 

"Did you register?" asked the proprietor. 

"No, sir, I ain't lookin' for no room. I want you to come down 
and have a drink with me. I'm celebratin' and everybody's gone 
off. Where's everybody?" 

Mr. Grigg recognized the fellow as a puncher working for an 
outfit up on Crazy Woman and he knew he was not too trust- 
worthy with a gun when drinking. He and another cowboy were 
trailing some cattle and had stopped for the night. The truth of 
the matter was that the swaying figure in the underwear had gone 
to bed, and then in his befuddled state had crawled back out of 
his bedroll and decided "the party wasn't over after all" as far 
as he was concerned. Finding the saloons closed had entered the 

Sensing that this was a time for diplomacy rather than a ruckus, 
Mr. Grigg came down stairs and tried to get his guest to bed, but 
the latter kept insisting he have a drink with him. After being 
repeatedly refused he got weary of verbal insistence and decided 
to use a more persuasive method and stuck his six-shooter in Mr. 
Griggs' ribs. "Now look here, sir. I said take a drink." So he 
did. Then the cowboy handed him the gun and said, "Now you 
hold the gun on me while I take one." Though undoubtedly rank- 
tasting and of low grade, the contents of the jug proved amply 
potent, and after a few swigs and clumsy jug passing between the 
lanky cowboy in his long underwear and the dignified judge in 
his nightshirt, the two were delighted to discover that there were 
many yet unplumbed subjects worthy of profound and immediate 
consideration. Whether any definite decision was reached is 
doubtful. But with much slurring of words, patting of backs and 
waving of hands, many hours passed and the jug was emptied to 
the last vile drop. 

All these little incidents, humorous or tragic as the case might 
be, while seemingly purely relative and unimportant, should make 
us understand that people can be content in any station of life, 


and that as Charles Dickens so wisely said, "Trifles make the sum 
of life." 

Mr. Alfred Grigg's philosophy of life should leave two very 
worthwhile thoughts in our minds, expressed so aptly in the 
following quotations: 

"He bore it best, who expended no energy on useless emotion" 

"The wise man sticks to his own way — the hawk does not 
attempt to out dig the mole". 

To Be Continued. 

Smigrant Zmil Zrek J^o. 9 

sponsored by 

under the direction of Clark Bishop, Albert Sims, and Joe Bagley 

Compiled by 
Maurine Carley, Trek Historian 

July 5-6, 1958 

Caravan - 18 cars 50 participants 


Captain ...W. R. Bradley, Wyoming Highway Patrol 

Guide Joe Bagley, Lander 

Assistant Guide Jules Farlow, Lander 

Wagon Boss Lyle Hildebrand, Douglas 

Assistant Wagon Boss Francis Tanner, Big Piney 

Historian Maurine Carley, Cheyenne 

Assistant Historian Mrs. A. R. Boyack, Cheyenne 

Topographers J. M. Lawson - H. M. Townsend, USGS, 


Chaplain Col. A. R. Boyack, Cheyenne 

Photographer Pierre LaBonte, Jr., Assonet, Mass. 

Cook Elizabeth Hildebrand, Douglas 

NOTE: Distances taken from the Latter Day Saints' Emigrants' 
Guide by Clayton in 1848 which records distances west 
from Winter Quarters will be followed by the letters E.G. 
Distances followed by the letter M are from our series 
from the east boundary of Wyoming. We use our series 
from the east boundary of Wyoming. We use our series 
to the Parting of the Ways. 

Saturday— July 5, 1959 

9:30 A.M. Assembled at 320 M or 809 E.G. on highway 28, 
twenty-five miles northeast of Farson or fifty-four miles southwest 
of Lander, at the Oregon Trail marker in fenced enclosure where 
the old emigrant road crossed the highway. 

The caravan proceeded past the peculiar formation of a bluff 
which is sketched in the Bruff Diary of 1849. Then it passed 
by Box Spring which is no longer active, but is still surrounded 



by wire grass. The emigrants cut a hole three feet by three feet 
to get cold water here. 

10:30 A.M. Stopped at the Parting of the Ways (819 E.G.) 
which is marked by a stone surrounded by smaller rocks. The 
Bruff Diary states, "At the forks there was a stick driven in the 
ground, with board nailed on it, plastered with notices of what 
companies, men, and when they had passed on their route, and 
desiring friends in the rear to hurry up." A notice requested 
travellers to throw stones against the base to sustain the stick. 
From his camp, one and a half miles below Pacific Springs, 
McKinstry states in his July 10, 1850 entry in his diary, "In 9 

T'f^cK No s, sJ<yi.y^ ^ - «. /sse 

— 7-0 — 

h/YO/nfJS/G — C/'TAH SOi/f^O^J9r 
i^y A.C.Bts/^t»/» - /9S9 — 


miles Dry Sandy, only a little water in holes that not fit to 
drink. No wood or grass. Junction of Salt Lake and Fort Hall 
roads, 6 miles. We took the latter (Sublette Cut off). Little 
Sandy 8 miles and camped." 

In 1956, Bruce McKinstry and Clark Bishop placed a small 
stone marker here with an arrow pointing left for FT. BRIDGER 
and one right for SUBLETTE CUTOFF. Stones found near were 
piled around it. The Mormons took the left-hand road in 1847, 
Bruff took the right-hand road in 1849, and McKinstry took the 
right-hand road in 1850. 

Mrs. Mary Hurlburt Scott presented a paper on the Parting of 
the Ways. 

Mrs. Scott advocated the completion of a paved highway along 
the Oregon Trail. She said that if Wyoming would pave two 
stretches of road, fifty miles each, this Oregon Trail highway 
would be complete from Missouri to Oregon. 

1 1 :40 A.M. Travelling on the old Salt Lake road from Parting 
of the Ways we came to the Little Sandy (826 3/4 E.G.) where 
we crossed on a county bridge about 150 feet above the old 

12:20 P.M. The caravan stopped at Farson for lunch near the 
concrete marker with the plaque which erroneously shows this 
to be the Little Sandy. Mrs. Boyack gave a short talk here during 
the lunch hour. 

Mormon Pioneers Meet Jim Bridger and Party by Hazel Noble 

On June 28th, 1847, as the Mormon Vanguard Company made 
its way from the South Pass region to the Little Sandy Crossing 
near the present site of Farson, Wyoming, they met James Bridger 
and two companions enroute to Fort Laramie. Mr. Bridger 
expressed a desire for a conference with Brigham Young, leader 
of the Vanguard. Mr. Young was equally eager for an interview 
with him. An early encampment was made, and many questions 
were asked the famous mountaineer and guide relative to the 
Great Basin. 

From this interview valuable information was received relative 
to the streams, timber, and the country in general in the region 
of the Great Salt Lake. Mr. Bridger advised against taking a large 
population into the valley until it was ascertained whether grain 
could be grown there. It was at this time that the statement 
credited to Mr. Bridger was made that he would give one thousand 
dollars for the first bushel of corn raised in the Basin. 

In the journal of Wilford Woodruff for June 28, 1847, is the 
following note of explanation regarding Mr. Bridger's statement — 


"There is but one thing that would operate against it becoming a 
great grain country, said Mr. Bridger, that was the frost. He did 
not know but what the frost would kill the corn. He would give 
one thousand dollars to have a demonstration that this was not 
so. Brigham Young replied, 'Wait a little and we will show you' " 

The following day the mountaineer and his party, carrying a 
letter of introduction from Brigham Young to the men who were 
left at Mormon Ferry on the North Platte, continued their journey 
towards Fort Laramie. The Mormon Pioneers trekked West on 
the Trail that led to Bridger's Fort on Black's Fork. 

1 :25 P.M. Left Farson. Drove one mile northwest on highway 
187, then turned left on a dirt road for about three miles where 
we reentered the old road. About twelve miles from Farson we 
came to Simpson's Hollow. 

Joe Bagley recounted The History of Simpson's Hollow. 

"Simpson's Hollow received its name from a wagon train master 
who was freighting supplies for Gen. Sidney Johnston's Army. 
In October 1857, Captain Lot Smith and his Rough Riders of the 
Utah Militia surrounded the Simpson Supply train as they were 
camped at this spot. Simpson was told that if he did not surrender 
his wagon train, the Mormon Militia would annihilate them. 
Simpson surrendered. He and his men were given one wagon and 
supplies and were headed back east to Missouri. 

The Utah Militia, under the direction of Orin Lee, burned the 
seventy-five supply wagons and drove off all the oxen. 

General Sidney Johnston was on his way to Utah to put down 
the Mormon uprising, but with the loss of his wagon train and his 
supplies, he was forced to stay over and winter at Fort Bridger. 
He did not enter Utah until June 26, 1858. 

It was near Simpson's Hollow that another wagon train was 
attacked by the Indians about the year 1862. No written record 
of that attack can be found." 

2:30 P.M. Arrived at the Big Bend of the Big Sandy (852 
E.G.). Joe Bagley explained that the right-hand road led to the 
Lombard or Mormon Ferry and the left-hand road to the old ford. 
The Mormon caravan took the right-hand road on June 30, 1847. 
We took the left-hand road, crossed the Big Sandy, and after 
several miles on or near the old road arrived at the Big Island 
Bridge over Green River. 

For miles before we reached the bridge, the country was dry, 
sandy, and desolate. Occasional mounds of varicolored shale 
bulged up out of the flats. They looked like sleeping elephants 
with loose, leathery hides. (When the Seedskadee Project is 
completed a portion of this worthless looking land will be 
irrigated. ) 



For a few years, the Mormons used the Mormon, Lombard, or 
Robinson ferries. However, eventually many of them took a 
short cut across the flats to the south and forded the Green about 
three miles north of the Big Island Bridge to avoid the cost of 
ferrying. They then cut across to present Granger. 

One old Mormon Trail went four miles south to Black's Fork 
where it joined Holladay's Overland Stage Road. Another Mor- 
mon Trail from the Lombard Ferry crossed three miles north of 
here. This was a later trail. The two came together where Hams 
Fork joins Blacks Fork. 

4:00 P.M. Left the Big Island Bridge. Proceeded on and off 
the old road about ten miles to take a right-hand road to join the 
Lombard Ferry branch, which we followed to the crossing of 
Hams Fork at present Granger. 

Everyone gathered on a high bluff south of town for a picnic 
supper. Six carloads spent the night there in true pioneer style, 
while the rest enjoyed the luxury of Little America, but were kept 
awake most of the night by firecrackers. 

Sunday— July 6, 1958 

Caravan 16 cars 50 people 

6:30 A.M. After a hearty breakfast on the bluff, the caravan 

Photo By H. M. Townsend 
South Bend Stage Station, Granger 


reassembled at the old Pony Express and Stage Station near 
present Granger. 

Joe Bagley explained that the station was used from the late 
1850's until the Union Pacific was completed in 1869. Mrs. E. J. 
Brandley bought the station and lived in it until 1900 as a home- 
stead. In 1930 it was deeded to the state by Mr. and Mrs. 
Clarence Adams and Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy Brandley Adams. 

It was here that the Mormon Trail from the North joined the 
Overland Trail from the East. 

On July 6, 1847, one hundred and eleven years ago to a day, 
the Mormon caravan crossed Hams Fork here at Granger. 

Two cars from Green River joined the party. Mr. Adrian 
Reynolds from the Sweetwater County Historical Society took over 
as leader. 

8:45 A.M. Stopped at Church Buttes where Colonel Boyack 
gave an appropriate prayer. Mrs. Boyack told about the Mormon 
service held here in 1847. 

Church Buttes by Hazel Noble Boyack. 

The covered wagon vanguard of Mormon Pioneers was slowly 
pushing its way along the uneven prairie stretches of western 
Wyoming toward Bridger's Fort. Passing the present site of 
Granger, the pioneers directed their course a little south and west 
of that point. 

A few miles to the west, on the south side of the Trail, stands a 
curious and singular formation known today as Church Buttes. 
This huge mound, completely destitute of vegetation, stands alone 
in a sandy, sagebrush plain, and makes a conspicuous landmark 
along the Trail. The Mormon Pioneers reached these Buttes early 
in July, 1847, possibly between the 4th and 7th of the month. 
Legend has it that the Pioneer band paused here and held religious 

As the laboring animals drawing the seventy-three heavily laden 
wagons lumbered by on the hard earth, the sounds of travel must 
have echoed and vibrated through the grotesque caverns within 
the Buttes, breaking the dead silence of many centuries. Today 
nothing but a marker is there to tell the story of this western 
migration that once brought to life this silent and secluded spot. 

A traveler on the road today as he views the countryside, the 
shifting sands and grassless stretches, is led to exclaim, "What 
faith these homeless exiles must have had!" They journeyed on, 
trusting in their God to guide and lead them to a land of more 
fertile and verdant acres. 

For many years an old church bell stood atop the Buttes, having 
been placed there by the owner of this landmark. In 1930 the 
Latter-day Saint Church in Salt Lake City placed a bronze plaque 



on the north side of the Butte, near the roadway, 
reads : 


The inscription 


Mr. Adrian Reynolds made this interesting remark here: "If 
you had lived one hundred years ago, at this point you would 
have had to have sworn allegiance to the U.S. before entering 
Mormon territory." 

9:30 A.M. When we stopped at the Bee Hive Monument, we 
were in Uinta County where Mr. Charles F. Guild, President of 
the Uinta County Historical Society, became the leader. He 
reminded us that one hundred and eleven years ago on this very 
day the Mormons pulled out from Hams Fork and were on this 
same spot. 

9:45 A.M. The caravan stopped to view the long table forma- 
tion to the west which is called Bridger Butte. Just in front of 
the butte is a small pointed hill called Haystack Butte. It was 
around this hill that the twenty-five Mormon scouts, sent back 
to watch for Johnston's Army, outwitted the soldiers stationed at 

Photo by Pierre LaBonte, Jr. 
Trek No. 9 at Church Buttes, July 6, 1958 


Fort Bridger by marching in various formations around the hill 
all day. They changed horses, hats, and guns as they circled the 
hill. The false show of strength induced the soldiers to wait until 
the next June before advancing further. This story was made 
more interesting because of the presence of a granddaughter of 
one of the wily participants. 

11:00 A.M. Arrived at Fort Bridger where all en-oyed the 
three museums (one state and two private) and a picnic lunch in 
the grove. 

Old Fort Bridger, Famous Western Outpost by Hazel Noble 

Nestled within the region of the beautiful Uintah Range in 
southwestern Wyoming is Old Fort Bridger. Founded one hun- 
dred sixteen years ago by the fabled mountaineer, Jim Bridger, 
fur trapper and guide, the area fairly vibrates with history-making 
events of the early west and intermountain region. The establish- 
ment of the Fort in 1843, says Chittendem, marked the end of 
the Fur Trade Era and the beginning of scattered wagon caravans 
along the then briefly sketched Oregon Trail. 

Old Fort Laramie had stood since 1834, at the eastern portals 
of Wyoming Territory, a mecca for trappers, traders and Plains 
Indians, who came to barter and buy. Sandwiched between these 
two widely separated Posts lay the high rolling prairies of the 
great West. Lush with grasses, this unclaimed domain was a 
paradise for huge herds of buffalo,' deer, antelope and elk, and 
the Indian made it his favorite haunt and hunting ground. 

Rivers percolated through the grassy highlands and desert sands, 
interlacing the landscape and making possible the greatest Trail 
in history — the Oregon, Mormon, California Highway. 

During this early era these two western outposts. Fort Laramie 
and Fort Bridger, were linked together, as it were, by this famous 
emigrant road, each serving as an outstretched hand in helping 
struggling emigrants along the Trail. 

Jim Bridger had come west with the William H. Ashley party 
in 1822. It was a period of rapid exploration of this wilderness 
arena, and with the lure of the hairy beaver pelt to lead them on, 
these "bronzed knights in buckskin," sought out every nook and 
cranny of the inhospitable wilds. No explorer was more successful 
than Jim Bridger, the Great Salt Lake being one of his prize 

The demand for the beaver pelt was about over, and Jim 
Bridger, shrewd mountain man that he was, could see fine pros- 
pects in a fort founded in a location to catch the emigrant trade 
and at the same time be favorable for traffic with the Indians. 

The spot chosen was ideal, and in a letter sent for Bridger to 


Pierre Chouteau Jr., in St. Louis, under date of December 10, 
1843, he had this to say: "I have established a small Fort with 
blacksmith shop and a supply of iron in the road of the Emigrants 
which promises fairly. In coming out here they are generally well 
supplied with money, but by the time they get here they are in 
need of all kinds of supplies, horses, provisions, smithwork, etc. . . . 

"The Fort is in a beautiful location on Black's Fork of Green 
River, receiving fine, fresh water from the snow of the Uintah 
Range. The streams are alive with mountain trout. It passes 
the Fort in several small channels, each lined with trees, kept 
alive by moisture from the soil." 

No camping spot along the entire route of the Trail became 
better known than Bridger's Fort. Hundreds of pioneer diaries 
attest this fact. To mention a few: Captain Howard Stansbury 
recorded on August 11, 1849, "A drive of thirty-two miles brought 
us to Fort Bridger, an Indian Trading Post . . . built in the usual 
form of pickets with lodging apartments and offices opening into 
a hollow square, protected from without by a strong gate of 
timber . . . several of my wagons needed repairing, the train was 
detained five days for the purpose, Major Bridger courteously 
placing his blacksmith shop at my service." 

Another westerner, Joel Palmer, enroute to Oregon in 1845, 
noted "Twenty-five lodges of Indians or rather white trapper 
lodges occupied by their Indian wives. These were well supplied 
with robes, dressed deer, elk and antelope skins, coats, pants, etc. 
which they trade low for flour, pork, powder, etc." 

Associated with Mr. Bridger in this interesting frontier enterprise 
was one Louis Vasquez, of Mexican heritage. He had brought 
with him into the West a white wife from St. Louis, Missouri. 
Bridger, on the other hand, had chosen his helpmate from among 
the Indian tribes of the West. Both of these women were equally 
helpful in meeting the rugged demands of the frontier. 

The Fort was established on a Mexican Grant of land given 
under the auspices of the Government of Chihuahua in the early 
1 840's. At the termination of the Mexican War and the treaty of 
Guadalupe Hidalgo in February, 1848, the old frontiersman's 
possessions became a part of the United States. 

The ten-year period in the Fort's history from 1843 to 1853 
was a prosperous one. It was on June 28, 1847, that Jim Bridger 
and two of his men enroute to Fort Laramie met the Mormon 
Vanguard Company under the leadership of Brigham Young, 
at the Little Sandy River near Farson. Here an encampment was 
made for the night and detailed information was sought on the 
Salt Lake Region. "The land was fertile," said Mr. Bridger, "but 
due to the late frosts, etc. it would not be advisable to take a large 
population into the valley until it was ascertained grain could be 
raised there." Here also the legend born was that $1,000 was 
offered for the first bushel of corn grown in the Valley. 


The years immediately following this first meeting were har- 
monious ones between the Latter-day Saints and Bridger. Fre- 
quent trips to visit and trade in Salt Lake City were made by the 
old scout. But something happened that terminated this good will. 
Trying to sift the facts from the histories of this period is not an 
easy task. 

Fort Bridger was originally located in Green River County, 
Utah, and was created on March 2nd, 1852, by the Territorial 
Legislature of Utah. Another act organizing the County and 
defining its boundaries was approved January 13, 1854. The 
County boundaries were restricted in the West to make room for 
Summit County. 

During this period the Utah Indians, under Chief Walker, were 
becoming very troublesome. Governor Brigham Young, who was 
also Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Territory, wrote 
Commissioner George W. Manypenny in Washington, D. C. 
reciting the opening incidents of Walker's War, dating its begin- 
ning as of July 18, 1853. Said Superintendent Young, "Soon 
after the commencement of the present difficulties I have issued a 
revocation of all licenses to trade with the Indians in this Terri- 
tory and have granted none since. I deem this the most prudent 
course to take until peace is restored, as otherwise it would be 
very difficult, if not impossible, to prevent trading guns, powder, 
and lead to our enemies." 

Reports brought to Superintendent Young, both by emigrants 
and prominent people in the valley, that Jim Bridger was violating 
this order caused Mr. Young to send out a Sheriff's Posse to 
Fort Bridger to arrest the offender. 

One can readily understand the Utah leader's apprehension 
about any traffic in ammunition with the Indians. Thousands of 
men, women and children were making vigorous efforts at col- 
onizing far-flung and secluded places in the Territory. Some had 
met their death from Indian uprisings. 

On the other hand, we sense the feelings of the old mountaineer 
when he was suddenly faced with a choice of arrest on this serious 
charge or making his get-away. Fort Bridger was his home, 
located in a wilderness setting he loved, but he chose to return to 
his home land in Missouri. 

It was about two years later that negotiations were consummated 
for purchase of Fort Bridger. The Church was represented by 
Lewis Robison, Quartermaster of the Nauvoo Legion, while 
Bridger and Vasquez were represented by John M. Hockaday, 
who had previously made a survey of the Fort grounds. Noted 
in the Church Historian's File under date of October 18, 1858, 
is the following: "Louis Vasquez, of the firm of Bridger and 
Vasquez, executed a bill of sale of Fort Bridger and acknowledged 
receipt of $4,000 on August 3, 1855 and $4,000 this day, 
October 18, 1858, also acknowledged before Samuel A. Gilbert, 


Clerk of the Third District Court, that Hiram F. Morrell was 
his lawfully appointed agent and that he fully approved of the 
acts and doings of said Morrell in the sale of the property." 

The Mormon Church owned Fort Bridger from the time of 
purchase in 1855 to 1857 and proceeded to construct buildings 
there, also erecting a heavy cobblestone wall set in cement, about 
one hundred feet square and fourteen feet high. The Fort was 
also to serve as one of the stations of the X. Y. Express and Mail 
Line that was to operate out of Salt Lake City to Independence, 
Missouri. With the advent of Johnston's Army in the fall of 
1 857 all of these plans were suddenly changed. 

By late November of 1857 the Fort Bridger area bore all the 
aspects of an armed camp. Some three thousand troops under 
the able command of Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston were garri- 
soned nearby. A city of canvas tents had suddenly appeared 
on the western landscape and here at Camp Winfield Scott the 
troops spent the rugged winter of 1857-1858. The army had been 
piloted to the West by none other than Mr. Bridger himself. 

When news of this invading force reached Governor Young, 
orders were given to the Utah Militia to fire all buildings, hay and 
grain in the vicinity of the Fort, including Fort Supply, and 
Supply City located a few miles southwest of Fort Bridger. These 
latter places were established as a colonizing project by the 
Mormon people in 1853 and brought to Wyoming the first 
endeavors in agriculture. The order to set fire to the buildings 
was faithfully carried out, the owners of the property asking the 
privilege of destroying their own. 

The sudden appearance of an army on the borders of Utah 
Territory was the greatest challenge in the eventful career of the 
Pioneer statesman, Brigham Young, say historians. No word 
had been sent by the Government of the approach of the troops. 
When three couriers brought the news of the advance of troops 
to that peaceful gathering in Little Cottonwood Canyon on July 
24, 1857, Governor Young later issued this pronouncement, 
". . . . We have committed no wrong nor do we intend to do so, 
but as for any Nation coming here to destroy this people, God 
Almighty being my helper they shall not come here." Martial 
law was declared in the Territory and the Army forbidden to 
enter. The orders issued to the Utah Troops were to take no life 
but harass the enemy and retard his progress. This order was 
carried out. Supply trains were burned in Simpson's Hollow and 
on the Green River. But when the United States soldiers went 
into winter quarters at Camp Scott near Fort Bridger in late 1857, 
the Utah Expedition or the Utah War was over. 

During the winter of 1857-1858, misunderstandings were 
cleared away between the Government and the Mormons, and in 
June, 1858, General Johnston marched his troops through the 
deserted streets of Salt Lake City and established Camp Floyd 


thirty-six miles southwest of the city. Here the army stayed until 
the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. 

In the meantime Mr. Bridger, who had been employed as a 
guide for the Army, set forth his claims that the ground being 
used by the troops at Camp Scott still belonged to him. He 
offered to lease it to the Government for $600 a year. This 
arrangement was satisfactory if title to the land could be estab- 
lished. This Mr. Bridger was never able to do, hence the rental 
was never paid by the Government. It was about this time that 
Mr. Vasquez issued his official bill of sale of Fort Bridger and 
acknowledged full payment by the Mormon Church. 

Before leaving Camp Scott in June, 1858, General Albert 
Sidney Johnston officially designated Fort Bridger as an army 
post. Thus it was to remain until 1 890, through those intervening 
and colorful years of huge freighting contracts, the days of Ben 
Holladay, the Stage Coach King, the Pony Express, the telegraph 
line, the treaty by the famous Chief Washakie, the advent of the 
rails to the West, and the beginning of the eventual building up 
and settlement of Bridger Valley. 

There had come west with Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston's 
Army in 1857 a man who was to prove himself a remarkable 
character in the Fort Bridger domain. William A. Carter was 
richly endowed with a genial and hospitable nature. Well edu- 
cated, refined in conduct, he wrote his own chapter in the Fort's 
history. As post sutler, Mr. Carter was known far and near. 
He also served with distinction as probate judge, postmaster, and 
his financial adventures in the cattle industry, freighting and farm- 
ing, etc., made of him a man of considerable wealth and affluence. 

When the Territory of Wyoming was carved out of the West, 
the Fort Bridger corner was to be left in Utah. Judge Carter went 
to Washington and through his personal efforts this corner of 
Utah was left in Wyoming. He attempted to have Fort Bridger 
made the capitol of Wyoming, but the fight was lost in a Con- 
gressional Committee by three votes. President Andrew Johnson 
offered to make Mr. Carter the first Territorial Governor, an 
honor the Judge graciously refused. His death occurred November 
8, 1881, at the old homesite in Fort Bridger. This fine tribute 
was paid to Mr. Carter by Colonel T. H. Stanton, of the U. S. 
Army, and appeared in an Omaha paper shortly after his death: 
"He was a man of large culture, great reading and devoted to 
science and literature in their broadest and most generous terms. 
His hospitahty was bounded by no limits. It embraced high and 
low, rich and poor alike. No man, whatever his condition, went 
away from his door empty-handed if he needed assistance. He 
had large means and bestowed it with generous liberality. His 
charity for the weaknesses and failings of his brother-man was 
as broad as the human family, and excluded none." 

In view of the historic background of the Fort and its confines. 


it was certainly fitting and proper that it should become one of 
Wyoming's most famous historical landmarks. On June 25th, 
1933, amidst a gathering of some seven thousand people, cere- 
monies dedicating the site were held under the auspices of the 
Historical Landmark Commission* of Wyoming and the Utah 
Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association. 

Today high-powered automobiles with the speed of the winds 
rush by historic Fort Bridger on Highway 30, little conscious that 
here in loneliness broods the old army post, rich in the lore of the 
Indian and his white brother. The military authority has long 
since ceased, the emigrant trains will come no more, but the 
faith, the courage and the vision that these western Pioneers 
brought with them helped to lay the foundation of the Great 
West as we have it today. 

12:40 P.M. Left Fort Bridger on a county road which crossed 
and recrossed the old trail between the fort and Hay Stack Butte. 

During this part of the trip, Mr. Guild pointed out the location 
of Fort Supply where food was raised and stored for future passing 
emigrants. This fort was burned in 1857. 

1 : 30 P.M. Arrived at Muddy Creek Stage and Pony Express 
Station which was built by Moses Byrne. His family and the 
family of Mr. Guild's grandfather lived here until 1868, when the 
Union Pacific Railroad came through and the station of Piedmont 
was built. Mr. Guild also said that a toll gate was once in 
operation at this point on the trail. 

We saw parts of the old hotel and the Union Pacific round 
house in Piedmont, although nothing is left to show the location 
of the charcoal and logging businesses which once flourished in 
that busy community. He also entertained the group with several 
hair-raising stories of real western shootings in days gone by. 

2:00 P.M. Mr. Guild pointed out a grave on the north bank 
of Muddy Creek near the old railroad bed. A footstone showed 
the letters T.D. The name was gone from the headstone but the 
date 1868 and this remark, "killed while cleaning a gun" was 

4:30 P.M. The last stop was made at Myers Crossing on Bear 
River (950 1/4 E.G.) near Mormon Pioneer Monument. Mr. 
Fred Myers told about this part of the trail and showed us the 
grave of Mary Lewis, an unfortunate member of the Handcart 
Company of 1847.^ 

* The Historical Landmark Commission was abolished and the work of 
that commission was turned over to the Wyoming State Archives and 
Historical Department on February 16, 1959, under a law passed by the 
35th Legislature and signed on that day by Governor J. J. Hickey. 



After a round of applause for the sponsores of the 1958 trek, 
the caravan disbanded. 



Maurine Carley 

Mrs. Graham Walker 

Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Bishop 

Mrs. Veda Hoffman 

Mrs. Winifred Bergren 

Dorris Sander 

Irene Vass 

Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Ritter and 

Col. Wm. R. Bradley 
Col. and Mrs. A. R. Boyack 

Jane Davis 
Chas. F. Guild 

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Emerson 
and Elaine 

Fort Bridger 

Albino Fillin, Blacksmith 


Mrs. Mary H. Scott 


Jules Farlow, Sr. 
Mrs. E. J. Breece 
Joseph Bagley 

Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Bishop and 

A. G. Sims 

Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Hildebrand 
and children 

Big Piney 

Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Tanner 
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Scherbel 
and children 


Richard Eklund 
Luther Wack 

Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Marsolf 
and granddaughter 

Green River 

Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Reynolds 
Mrs. Geo. Layton and children 
Charles Lenhart 


Mr. and Mrs. Bartlet Hilton 
Joanne Feltner 

Salt Lake City, Utah 
Mrs. Martha Anderson 

Assonet, Massachusetts 
Pierre La Bonte, Jr. 

Denver, Colorado 
J. M. Lawson 
H. M. Townsend 

Wyoming Mcliacological J^otes 


Sandia Points 

By L. C. Steege 

Sandia points were first discovered in a cave in the Sandia 
Mountains of New Mexico and they derived their name from this 
location. Excavation of this cave was sponsored by the University 
of New Mexico and was started in February 1936. 

The top layer of this cave consisted of wind blown dust, bat 
guano and pack rat dung. Scanty evidence revealed only inter- 
mittent occupation by man during recent times. 

Below the top layer was a layer of calcium carbonate varying 
in thickness from one-half to six inches. Below this crust was an 
occupation strata which produced folsom points, gravers, a wide 
range of scrapers, three examples of worked bone and numerous 
flakes. Large numbers of animal bones were present and have 
been identified as horse, camel, wolf, mammoth, bison and ground 

Below the second occupation strata was a sterile layer of water 
deposited yellow ochre which ranged in thickness from two inches 
to two feet. Under this ochre deposit was another occupation 
strata in which the nineteen Sandia points were found associated 
with remains of extinct forms of horse, camel, bison, mastodon 
and mammoth. 

The "Lucy" site in New Mexico was excavated during the 
summer of 1954. This site also produced several Sandia points. 
These also were associated with the bones of extinct mammals 
which included several long bones of an elephant. This animal 
had been slaughtered in one of the many ponds located just 
above the shore line of Pleistocene Lake Estancia. 

Sandia points have been divided into two types. Both are 
characterized by an inset on one edge which produced a single 
shoulder. Type one has rounded edges and is lenticular in cross 
section. Type two has nearly parallel edges and is diamond shaped 
in cross section. The base of type two usually shows some thin- 
ning through the removal of longitudinal flakes. Both types have 
ground basal edges. Sometimes the grinding occurs beyond the 
shoulder. Sandia points vary in length from two to four inches, 
and in width from three-quarters to an inch and a quarter. The 
average is about three inches in length and one inch in width. The 
points are rather crudely flaked. The antiquity of these points 








range between 15,000 and 20,000 years and at present are con- 
sidered to be the oldest known points in the new world. 

I cannot emphasize too strongly that not every single shouldered 
point can be classified as a Sandia point. Only a very few 
specimens have been found which closely resemble the types from 
New Mexico. Many of the so-called Sandia points are merely 
unfinished specimens or a non-stylized form of more recent origin. 

Sandia points have been found in other localities in New 
Mexico, Texas, Northern Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa and Oregon. 
Several have been found in the four corners area. Some have 


been reported from Alberta, Canada, and one from the Province 
of Saskatchewan. 

I have seen only one example that was found in Wyoming which 
I would definitely classify as a Sandia. This point was found in 
Sweetwater County and is a type two. I have examined several 
other specimens in private collections which have been regarded 
as Sandia points. These, in my estimation, are aberrant forms 
of a later time period. 

Wyoming State Mis tone at Soeiety 

Sixth Annual Meeting September 19, 1959 

Carbon County Courthouse, Rawlins, Wyoming 

Registration for the Sixth Annual Meeting opened at 9:00 A.M. 
at the courthouse-Community Room in RawHns. One hundred 
thirty-one registered. Many people enjoyed the local tours during 
the day to — 

John Larsen Artifact Collection 
Rawlins National Bank Collection 
The Rawlins Spring Site 
Markers at City Hall and U.P. Depot 
Carbon County Museum Site 
Carbon County Museum 


The Sixth Annual Meeting of the Wyoming State Historical 
Society met in the Community Room of the Carbon County Court- 
house in Rawlins at 1:30 P.M. on September 19, 1959, with 
approximately seventy-five members present. Mr. A. H. Mac- 
Dougall, President, called the meeting to order. Delegates from 
the following counties were present: Albany, Campbell, Carbon, 
Goshen, Fremont, Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Sweetwater, and 

The Secretary read the minutes of the Executive Committee 
which was held in Casper on July 18, 1959. The minutes were 
approved as read. 


September 6, 1958 - September 19, 1959 
Cash and Investments on hand September 6, 1958 $6,892.15 

Receipts and Interest: 

Dues $2,656.50 

Colter Booklet 165.18 

Interest on Savings 212.05 3,033.73 

Disbursements 9-6-58 — 9-19-59 
Annals of Wyoming $1,370.00 


Office Supplies 




Meeting (5th Annual) 


Film (All American 

Indian Days) 








September 19, 1959 
Cheyeqne Federal Building and Loan $7,322.33 

Stock Growers National Bank checking account 421.50 

Present membership of the Society as of September 19, 1959 is as follows: 

Life members 29 

Joint Life members 14 

Annual members 457 

Joint Annual 368 

Total 868 

The President appointed the Auditing Committee: J. R. Arm- 
strong, Mrs. Edith Daley and Mrs. Walter M. Lambertson. 

The Resolutions Committee composed of Robert Larson, Bob 
David, and Ed Tierney was also appointed. 

Mr. Steege reported that no new developments had been com- 
pleted in the Archealogical field since he had last reported. 

Dr. Larson reported that Leonard Gregory had finished his 
master's thesis on the history of Big Horn County and had received 
the full amount of his $300. Mr. Spiegel is still working on the 
Laramie County history for which he has received a scholarship 
from the Society. 

Mr. Bishop read a report of the Historic Sites Committee listing 
the counties which are actively working to locate historic sites. 
His committee has been very active placing iron marked posts on 
exact locations of the forty Pony Express stations in Wyoming. 

Mr. Littleton reported that his committee on Historical Markers 
will meet again this fall before he announces the ideas for markers. 
The contest for ideas for historical markers will be conducted by 
the Society through his committee this fall. 

The above reports were accepted and placed on file. 

Miss Homsher reported that the Jim Baker cabin has been 
restored. A turnbuckle has helped straighten the building which 
leaned one foot, preservatives have been put on the exterior, 
plexiglass has been put in for windows, and slabs have made the 
roof look old. 

Mr. James Petty, Historian at the Fort Laramie National Monu- 
ment, reminded the group of the importance of the Fort Laramie 
National Monument, stating that it is the most important historical 
site in Wyoming and probably the whole West. The National 
Park Service is anxious to acquire antique furniture, especially 
bedroom pieces, for the restored officer's quarters. Fort Laramie 
will be a show place by 1966. The Secretary read a letter from 
Mr. Ringenbach, Superintendent of the Monument, reminding the 
Society that the members should work for the extension of the 
monument boundaries as the Society is the chief sponsor of the 
expansion project. Several suggestions were given but nothing 


definite was decided. Each county society should write to Wyo- 
ming's Congressmen supporting the bills to enlarge the monument 
site to provide better facilities for visitors. 

Others present expressed opinions that attention should be 
given Fort Fetterman and Fort Phil Kearny. 

The Secretary read a letter from Mr. Claude Gettys in which he 
stated that the Highway Department will correct the Fetterman 
Monument sign. 

Miss Dorris Sander spoke on organizing Junior Historians 
groups. In some states a full time worker handles this phase. 
She suggested that careful planning and good leadership is neces- 
sary for a successful program. The State Department of Education 
will be glad to help plan but they cannot take on the responsibility 
just now. 

Mr. T. J . Mahoney moved that the new officers make it the work 
of the Executive Committee to formulate an historical program on 
the local and state level for Boy Scouts. After a lengthy discus- 
sion, Mr. Hadsell amended the motion to include all young people. 
The motion was carried as amended. 

Mr. Ritter reported that a film had been made of the 1959 
American Indian Days. As chairman of the Committee to obtain 
costs of purchasing movie equipment, he reported the following 
costs: $427.45 for a 16mm movie camera with no sound equip- 
ment, will take black or colored film. $1379.00 for a 16mm 
movie camera which will take black or colored film and includes 
sound equipment. Rental for a camera and sound equipment out 
of Denver would be $30 per day. Minimum time for use of this 
equipment would usually be about five days. 

Mrs. Nancy Wallace moved that the State Society buy out of 
the savings account the necessary equipment for taking moving 
pictures. Seconded and carried. 

Mr. Kleber Hadsell moved that the Executive Committee limit 
the expenditure and determine how the project should be handled. 
Seconded and carried. Mr. Hadsell suggested that the Society look 
into the possibility of taking advantage of purchase of government 
surplus equipment. 

Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins moved that the State Library, 
Archives and Historical Board look into the possibility of the State 
Archives and Historical Department purchasing the equipment. 
Seconded and carried. 

At this point Mr. Armstrong reported that the books had been 
audited and found in good order. His report was accepted and 
ordered filed. 

Fine reports of activities carried on in Albany, Campbell, 
Carbon, Fremont, Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Park, Sweetwater, 
and Uinta Counties were given by delegates. These activities 
have been included in History News over the past year. 

Miss Homsher announced that the Historical Department ac- 


quired many historical sites when the former Historical Landmarks 
Commission was abolished and the work of that commission was 
given to the State Archives and Historical Department. It will 
take a substantial amount of money to restore and preserve all 
of these sites. Mr. MacDougall instructed Miss Homsher to take 
up with the Attorney General the matter of laws of escheat relating 
to the relationship of the state and federal government. He sug- 
gested that the 1961 Legislature, if it is feasible, pass a bill to 
revert lost federal monies such as postal deposits to the Historical 
Department for use in purchase, restoration, and maintenance of 
historic sites. 

Miss Homsher urged all county societies to plan local programs 
to fit in with the state program for the Pony Express Centennial 
in 1960. She urged the local organizations to purchase the dies 
for cancellation of stamps to be used at that time. The Post 
Office Department is working in close cooperation with the Pony 
Express Association. 

Mr. Hadsell moved that the Governor be asked to proclaim a 
Pioneer Week. Motion carried. The week of the State Fair was 

Meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m. 


In the evening 200 persons attended a dinner in the Flame 
Room at the Adams Restaurant. Mr. Clarence A. Brimmer, Jr., 
toastm aster, presided and presented: 

Invocation: Rev. C. Arch Hopper 
Welcome: Mayor Leeland U. Grieve 
Response: Mr. A. H. MacDougall 

Mrs. Violet Hord, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, 
announced the results of the election of officers for 1959-1960 
as follows : 

President, Mrs. Thelma Condit of Buffalo 

First Vice President, Mr. E. A. Littleton of Gillette 

Second Vice President, Mrs. Edness Kimball Wilkins of Casper 

Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Maurine Carley of Cheyenne 

Historical Awards 

Mr. E. A. Littleton, Chairman of the Awards Committee, an- 
nounced the following Historical Awards: 

Mrs. Mildred Albert Martin for her book. The Martins of Gun- 
barrel, an autobiographical account of her earlier years of dude 

John and Margaret Harris for their novel, Chant of the Hawk, 
a story of the mountain men. 


Wyoming Archaeological Society for their excavations at Kauf- 
man Cave and the Medicine Wheel in Wyoming in 1958. 

Greybull Standard, newspaper, for its significant contribution to 
Wyoming History in the 50th Anniversary Edition of June 4, 1959. 

Paul Schubert for his magazine article, Wyoming's Wonderful 
Women, which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, August 1, 

Val Kuska for his newspaper article. Beginning of Town Can Be 
Dated From Start of Railroad, from Greybull Standard, June 4, 

Buffalo Bulletin, newspaper, for its significant contribution 
to Wyoming History in the 14th Annual Johnson County Edition 
of July 2, 1959. (Honorable Mention) 

Charles S. Washbaugh for his newspaper article Old Country 
Dances Provided Most Fun, which appeared in the Buffalo 
Bulletin, July 2, 1959. (Honorable Mention) 


Mr. Robert Larson, chairman of the Resolutions Committee, 
presented the following report: 

WHEREAS: the Carbon County Chapter of the State Historical 
Society has been the gracious host to the Sixth Annual Meeting 
of the Wyoming State Historical Society; and 

WHEREAS: the membership of the Carbon County Chapter 
and the residents of Rawlins have extended every courtesy to make 
this an outstanding meeting; therefore 

Be it resolved, that we extend our sincere appreciation for the 
excellent program, the interesting local tours, and for the hospi- 
tality extended; and that we especially thank Mr. Kleber H. 
Hadsell, president of the Carbon County Chapter, and Mr. Neal E. 
Miller, General Chairman, for their splendid efforts in making this 
State meeting an outstanding success. 

Robert R. Larson, Chairman 
Robert B. David 
Ed Tierney 


Speaker of the evening was R. W. "Red" Fenwick, Denver 
Post columnist and author of Red Fenwick's West. His topic 
was "History By and Large — Mostly By." He gave a humorous 
talk which was much enjoyed and presented a serious aspect in 
urging that history be recorded accurately and fairly, accenting 
the majority's way of life rather than that of the minority and 
of the sensational. He urged that people demand better reading 
material in their local newspapers and that they insist that news- 



papers reflect accurately the life of today because "the people and 
happenings now are the history of tomorrow, and future genera- 
tions will judge us by what they read in our papers of today." 


At 8:15 o'clock Sunday morning approximately forty cars made 
a trek to Fort Fred Steele where a Sheep Wagon Breakfast was 
ready and waiting. Coffee, sausages made from wild antelope and 
pork, (the antelope killed by President A. H. MacDougall), pan- 
cakes with all the trimmings, and beans were served by the 
efficient cooks. 

Following the breakfast many of the members inspected the 
remaining buildings at old Fort Steele. Mr. Charles Vivion, 
owner of the site, lead a conducted tour of the grounds. 

Maurine Carley, Secretary 



Mr. L. D. Rettstatt, Chairman 
Mrs. George Pierson 
Mrs. Alex Gordon 
Mrs. Charles Hornbeck 
Mrs. Irving Hays 

Local Tours, Guide & Reception 

Mr. Edward Tierney, Co-chairman 

Mrs. Clifford Sundin, Co-chairman 

Mrs. Carl Willford 

Mr. Howard Peverley 

Mr. R. D. Martin 

Mr. Edward McAuslan 

Mrs. lohn Mullen 

Mr. Gerald Felton 

Mr. John Gooldy 

Mr. Frank Gordon 

Mr. Fred Healey 

Mrs. Ralph Geddes 

Mr. Harry J. Cashman 

Mrs. Day Espy 

Mrs. Bert Oldman 

Mr. Lou J. Nelson 

Mr. Gail Willis 

Mr. Wilbur Toothaker 


Mrs. Norman Kretzer, Chairman 

Mrs. Art Rasmusson 

Mrs. Kleber Hadsell 

Mrs. Walter Lambertsen 

Mrs. Charlotte Romick 

Mrs. Neal Miller 

Banquet Tables 
Mrs. P. E. Daley 


Mr. P. E. Daley, Chairman 
Mr. I. K. Miller 
Mr. Art Rasmusson 
Mr. Kleber Hadsell 
Mr. Edward Tierney 
Mr. Charles Vivion 

Ticket Sales 

Mrs. Arnold Larsen 
Mrs. Charles Hornbeck 
Mrs. Edward Tierney 
Mrs. Neal Miller 


Mr. Edward Tierney, Chairman 

Mrs. Kleber Hadsell 

Mrs. Walter Lambertsen 

Mrs. Alex Gordon 

Mrs. George Pierson 

Mr. P. E. Daley 

Mrs. Ed Bennett 

Host Chapter 

Carbon County Chapter, Inc. 
Kleber H. Hadsell, President 

Mr. Neal E. Miller, General Chairman 

Breakfast Tour 

Mr. Charles Vivion 
Mr. Edward Tierney 



Photo by Lola M. Homsher 

Sheep Wagon Breakfast 
Cooks: I. K. Miller and Charles Vivion 

Mook Keviews 

The Great Sioux Uprising. By C. M. Oehler. (New York Oxford 
University Press, 1959. Index. Illus. 272 pp. $5.00.) 

Not for the squeamish is The Great Sioux Uprising. Over- 
shadowed by the battles and shattering casualties of the Civil War, 
the Minnesota uprising did not attract great interest at the time. 
However, four hungry, young Sioux braves on a warm Sunday 
afternoon in August of 1862 started a war that was to continue 
intermittently for almost thirty years. 

Hungry Indians, cheated by the traders, anxiously awaiting a 
delayed government annuity, improperly supervised and chafing 
under mounting white encroachment on their traditional hunting 
grounds, created an explosive situation which was ignored by the 
authorities. When trader, Andrew My rick, apparently ignoring 
the example of Marie Antoinette, remarked, "So far as I am con- 
cerned, if they are hungry, let them eat grass," the stage was set for 
the massacre. 

Newly-arrived Central European settlers were ill-prepared for 
the sudden vicious attack of the Sioux. Within a few days 800 
to 1500 settlers and U. S. troops were slaughtered. Husbands 
stood paralyzed and helpless while their famihes were butchered. 
During the first day of the uprising, hundreds of settlers were 
killed by Indians but not one Indian was killed by a settler. Trader 
Myrick was found, weeks later, with his body full of arrows and 
his mouth full of grass. Many fathers ran away, deserting their 
families. Wives and daughters were killed or taken prisoners. 
Young white girls were forced to submit to dozens of their captors. 
One pregnant white woman was ripped open and her unborn baby 
was nailed to a tree. 

Efforts upon the part of the national administration and State 
authorities to suppress the uprising were slow and ill-directed. 
Few of the Sioux were captured or punished. Many fled to the 
west and engaged in the later phases of the war against Crook 
and Custer. 

While the reader is shocked by the torture and butchery to 
which the settlers were subjected, it is interesting to remember 
that about one year later in July, 1863, mobs protesting the 
Federal Draft took over the City of New York, destroyed and 
burnt police stations, churches, orphan's asylums, etc., kicked a 
Colonel to death, burnt other people alive, killed 30 negroes, 
scores of police, and order was established only on the arrival of 
Federal troops which fought pitched battles with the mob. 

While Mr. Oehler's excellent volume may not have the local 
interest sought by Wyoming readers, it is excellent background 


material for the latter part of the Sioux War. The notes are 
interesting. The style is straightforward, and an interesting part of 
Indian history is well told. 

Cheyenne, Wyoming Frank Clark, Jr. 

Frontier America: The Story of the Westward Movement. By 
Thomas D. Clark. (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 
1959. Illus. 832 pp. College edition, $6.75 ). 

This handsome volume unmistakably is designed as a textbook 
for college courses in the westward movement. Thus it invites 
comparison with other textbooks in the field by Ray Billington, 
Dan Clark, Hafen and Rister, and Robert Riegel. Tom Clark's 
entry for the competition deserves to be a front runner. His book 
is the most attractive in format. The type face is large and clear 
on high quality paper. There are many excellent maps and 

Tom Clark's volume shares highest rank with Billington's with 
respect to literary merit and scholarship. His book deals with the 
American frontier from 1750 to the 1890's when the westward 
movement "was of paramount importance" in American history. 
Thus he does not deal, as Billington does, with the period 1492- 

As do Billington and Dan Clark, Tom Clark covers westward 
expansion from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Only Hafen and Rister 
limit themselves to the trans-Mississippi West. 

Tom Clark is less devoted to the Turner thesis than is Billington. 
"No attempt is made to adhere to a thesis," he writes. "No 
particular claims are made that the general process of Ameri- 
can expansion nurtured and matured the American democratic 

Both Tom Clark and Billington are relatively weak in their 
treatment of the high plains and Rockies. Symptomatic are 
Clark's misspellings Ben Holliday (for HoUaday), Marie (for 
Mari) Sandoz, and Velma Limford (for Linford), and his pre- 
sentation of a trans-Mississippi railroad map showing the Union 
Pacific railroad going through South Pass. Hafen and Rister, 
more at home in the region, would not make such errors. Tom 
Clark, brought up and trained in the Old South, and having spent 
almost all of his teaching career at the University of Kentucky, is 
most expert in dealing with frontier problems east of the Missis- 
sippi. And yet he does quite well with most phases of trans- 
Mississippi history. His chapters on the mountain men, the Texas 
frontier, the Mexican War, and the Mormons are as sound, concise, 
and readable as can be found anywhere. Some of his other chap- 


ters are not quite so well done, but on the whole it's a fine book, 
of great scholarly merit. 

Tom Clark finds much to admire in the frontiersmen, but he 
does not glorify them indiscriminately: "Adventurers, schemers, 
intriguers, and rascals found both suckers and anonymity along 
the frontier." ". . . there were murderers, bigamists, gamblers, 
counterfeiters, horse thieves, and swindlers who found the back- 
woods temporarily free of lawyers, magistrates' processes and alert 
sheriffs." "To their lasting discredit, many frontiersmen prosti- 
tuted nature's bounty." 

Readers will find the text sprinkled liberally with shrewd in- 
sights, and they will find much accurate information which is 
unobtainable in any other textbook. They will find well balanced 
approaches to controversial matters, well chosen quotations and 
illustrations, and subdued, pleasing use of humor. 

Wyoming readers who want to learn about Wyoming may find 
little of interest or value, but if they want perspective for Wyoming 
and regional developments they need look no further than this 
outstanding volume. 

University of Wyoming T. A. Larson 

Teapot Dame. By M. R. Werner and John Starr. (New York: 
Viking Press, 1959. 298 pages. $5.00.) 

Teapot Dome depicts a tragic chapter in our American history, 
and even though the men responsible for the crimes committed 
were eventually punished, the blot on our country is too serious 
to be ignored. 

As the story of Teapot Dome unfolds it seems that many people 
thought the government was a place to feather nests. Possibly 
many of them refused to believe they were defrauding the gov- 

Few people of the older generation are unmindful of the names 
Sinclair, Doheny and Fall. These men wrecked their lives in an 
effort to line their pockets. 

The trials of these men lasted many years and finally came to a 
just end with each of the criminals serving terms in the Federal 
Penitentiary. Their names will go down in dishonor. 

It was in the early part of the present century that Albert B. 
Fall, then Secretary of the Interior, began to make plans to aug- 
ment his dwindling fortune. In the passing of time he met and 
joined forces with one Edward L. Doheny. This combination 
boded no good for either of these men or for the United States. 

The inception of this plan to defraud the Government began 
when Fall leased the oil reserves of the U. S. Navy to his friends 
for money. It was to be a decade before the evidence of fraud 


was disclosed. From then on the cases were prosecuted with 
dihgence. Our Government, and we, the people, are indebted to 
Owen J. Roberts and Thomas J. Walsh for placing the criminals 
behind the bars and the return of the public property to the 

To understand the devious ramifications of this oil scandal 
one should read this book from cover to cover. The details are 
there and the facts are so clear that "he who runs may read." 

This book contains an excellent summary of the facts concerning 
the Teapot Dome oil scandal. It should be read by all those who 
are interested in better government, which to me seems necessary 
if we are to preserve our liberty and continue in our way of life. 
It is well written and documented. 

Cheyenne L. C. Bishop 

Bill Sublette: Mountain Man. By John E. Sunder. (Norman, 
Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1959. xv+ 279 
pp., illus. $5.00.) 

No name from the roster of mountain men, unless it be Bridger, 
is so intimately associated with Wyoming as that of Sublette. 
Five Sublette brothers are included in that roster. Present-day 
Sublette County embraces much of the great valley which they 
frequented as trappers. Two of the brothers — Milton and Pinck- 
ney — are buried in Wyoming. Andrew reputedly found the 
famous Sublette Cut-Off. Solomon the youngest distinguished 
himself chiefly by surviving the others and inheriting William's 
wife and estate. It was William the eldest, however, who brought 
the others to the mountains; pioneered a traders' route, known 
for at least a decade as Sublette's Trail, up the Platte and Sweet- 
water to fur country; opened the way for immigrants by bringing 
the first wagons to the Popo Agie and demonstrating that cattle 
accompanying a train could subsist on native grasses; and built 
the first permanent trading post in Wyoming where Fort Laramie 
now stands. 

Before his death at forty-six Bill Sublette had been, as Sunder 
says in his Preface, "explorer, fur trader, politician, merchant, 
bank director, corporation executive, land speculator, resort pro- 
prietor, and progressive farmer," friend of congressmen, senators, 
financiers, merchants, and sundry humbler folk, and an intimate 
of a Scottish laird. Sir William Drummond Stewart. 

Bill Sublette went first to the mountains as an Ashley trapper in 
1823. Three years later, in partnership with Jedediah Smith and 
David Jackson, he bought out the Ashley equipment and interests. 
In 1830 the three partners sold their interests to a group who 
became known as the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. Sublette 


passed the first four years of the seven-year span between 1823 
and 1830 without leaving the mountains. In the remaining three 
years he spent hardly more than six months in the settlements. 
He earned fully the right to be called a mountain man. 

After a one-season venture in 1831 in the Santa Fe trade, Sub- 
lette and his new partner, Robert Campbell, re-entered the Wyo- 
ming scene as supply-train entrepreneurs. Their trains were at 
the rendezvous in 1832, 1833, and 1834 — the year of their tri- 
umph in "bucking" the Astor interests in the mountains. 

In 1835 Sublette began developing his large acreage on the 
outskirts of St. Louis into a gentleman farmer's estate. He 
experimented with tools, seeds, and stock-breeding; he imported 
the first pedigreed Shorthorns to reach Missouri directly from 
England. For a decade he was also a prominent St. Louis mer- 
chant, bank and corporation director, and active politically. Bus- 
iness interests took him East to financial and merchandising centers 
as early as 1833. In time he became a well-known and respected 
figure in Washington, Philadelphia, and New York. He did not 
marry until he was forty-five. A little more than a year later he 
died in Philadelphia while on a trip to introduce his young wife 
to his Eastern friends. 

This summary of Bill Sublette's career as presented by Sunder 
does scant justice to the wealth of detail crowded into the biography 
and to the tremendous job of research required in its preparation. 
The biographer apparently made full use of the closed file of 
Sublette papers in the Missouri Historical Society to which Bernard 
De Voto was denied access in preparing A cross the Wide Missouri. 
A look at the comprehensive bibliographical resources uncovered 
by Sunder justifies his prefatory remark that "the material pertinent 
to his [Sublette's] life was too scattered for ready use until modern 
means of transportation and communication facilitated research." 

Over a dozen early photographs and four maps add graphic 
confirmation to the text, and four Appendixes give additional 
information about family connections and business transactions. 

Unfortunately Sunder's style does not sparkle. His system of 
footnoting is confusing; one must guess sometimes from which of 
several sources cited in an introductory footnote a quotation de- 
rives, and occasionally a footnote does not seem compatible with 
the passage cited. In this reader's opinion. Sunder tends to be- 
come at times a Sublette apologist. He has not fully accepted 
the fact, it would seem, that Bill Sublette was tough, shrewd, 
ruthless, and occasionally unprincipled — as he had to be in the 
tough, ruthless business cUmate of his time. Some of Sublette's 
personal idiosyncrasies and peccadillos, one suspects, have been 
glossed over to keep the portrait unsullied and almost wholly 

University of Wyoming Ruth Hudson 


Prairie Schooner Lady, the Journal of Sherrill Ward, 1853. By 
Ward G. and Florence Stark DeWitt, Editors. (Los Angeles: 
Westernlore Press, 1959. 180 pp. $5.75.) 

The Old West lives again, both vividly, and graciously, in the 
pages of the Prairie Schooner Lady. 

In this intriguing emigrant trail diary, written more than a 
century ago by Harriett Sherrill Ward, the reader is privileged to 
travel from day to day with the William Trowbridge Ward prairie 
schooner entourage on the trek westward from Dartford, Wis- 
consin to the far distant Indian valley of Central California. 

In this book, the reader can, through the intensely warm and 
human word pictures of Harriett Sherrill Ward, gain a glimpse of 
the grandeur of the vistos of a new, untrammelled land, stretching 
ever towards the setting sun, and can attain a deep appreciation 
and understanding of the contingent dangers and many exigencies 
that made life perilous for the transcontinental wayfarer of that 
early date. 

He will also, with each succeeding page, gain a deeper sense of 
appreciation for the fine sensibilities of the elder Wards, William 
Trowbridge and Harriett Sherrill, and build a bond of sympathy 
with Frances, the winsome daughter, and sturdy William, the son, 
as these two face a new life and adulthood under the stimulating 
influences of a rugged environment. 

A book, well worth reading. 

Casper Timothy J. Mahoney 

Hostiles and Friendlies: Selected Short Writings. By Mari Sandoz. 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1959. 250 pp. 

This new book by Mari Sandoz is, as the sub-title indicates, a 
collection of miscellaneous short works pubhshed in magazines in 
the period from 1927 to 1954. There are historical sketches, some 
of which have been incorporated into the larger works, particularly 
Old Jules; some fine, brief pieces out of the Nebraska background; 
and a number of short stories — the whole arranged into three 
sections. Recollections, Indian Studies, and Short Fiction. The 
book includes also an interesting autobiographical sketch, some 
notes on the edited pieces, and a chronological bibliography of 
Miss Sandoz' published work which will be welcomed by those 
who are interested in all her writing. 

Like all such books it contains some very fine work and some of 
lesser quality, but, as one should expect, it contains nothing that 
is lifeless or inferior, two qualities that seem to be foreign to Mari 


Sandoz. Every selection is representative of her general excel- 
lence, even the earliest works, and if here and there she writes 
with perhaps less inspiration than usual that writing too has its 
worth and vitality. The earliest works, in fact, which one might 
expect to be the work of a novice, will reveal instead that Miss 
Sandoz seems always to have been an artist. There is the same 
careful observation of the sandhills and their people, the same 
vivid re-creation of the men and the country, and from these early 
works it is plain to see that she very soon discovered and perfected 
that matchless style which is, it seems to me, one of her claims to 
distinction. "The Kinkaider Comes and Goes," for example, writ- 
ten in 1929 when she was a student, will stand with anything she 
has done. She knew then how she would write Old Jules when 
she started it three years later. (The interested reader might com- 
pare the article with Chapter XIV of the book.) 

There is space here only to call attention to some individual 
pieces which have special merit. Among the Recollections is a 
very charming sketch of a pet muskrat, "Musky," a little piece of 
writing that reveals Miss Sandoz' great skill in the use of detail. 
And in the same group there are three portraits of sandhill people 
which belong with her very best work — "The Neighbor," the 
superb "Martha of the Yellow Braids," and the fine one of her 
mother, "Marlizzie." Of the short stories three are especially 
worth noting — the interesting and provocative "Pieces to a Quilt," 
the very moving "River Polak," and the ironic "Peachstone Bas- 
ket" which makes one thing of some of the bitter Spoon River 
poems of Edgar Lee Masters. 

One might carp only a httle about this book — he cannot be 
immediately certain who wrote the headnotes to the individual 
pieces, the editor (Virginia Faulkner) or Miss Sandoz. The 
headnote to the first piece, for example, the autobiographical 
sketch, is in italics and is by the editor. The next two notes are 
also by the editor I presume but are not in italics. The note to 
the next piece, however, "The Son," is entirely by Mari Sandoz 
though there are no quotation marks to indicate that she wrote it. 
The pronouns have to be the guide. And so on through the book. 
But this is a small matter. The articles and short stories were 
written by Miss Sandoz and their quality cannot be mistaken. 

University of Wyoming Richard Mahan 

The Overland Diary of James A. Pritchard From Kentucky to 
California in 1849. Edited by Dale L. Morgan. (Denver: 
Old West Publishing Co., 1959. 219 pp. Maps. $15.00. 
Limited Edition of 1250 copies.) 

The James A. Pritchard Diary, published in a limited edition of 


1,250 copies, is a handsome volume in format, an interesting and 
informative diary of the Gold Rush of 1849, and is edited in a 
manner which makes an unusual contribution to the history of 
this period. 

Pritchard's diary covers his journey from St. Louis, Missouri, to 
the California gold fields of the Coloma and Sacramento areas. 
As Editor Morgan points out, his is one of the few diaries of the 
Forty-niners in which is described an overland journey across 
Missouri from St. Louis to Independence and St. Joseph. 

The diary is written in a narrative style, probably at intervals 
from daily notes, retrospective at times, enabling the author to 
perhaps better describe scenes and events along the trail than if he 
had written hurriedly once a day. He describes with great clarity 
the many problems which attended the emigrants on the long and 
tedious journey and which caused the various trains to break up 
and reform with new members. 

In addition to his fine annotations to the text of the diary, Dale 
L. Morgan has made an outstanding contribution to the study of 
this westward rush of goldseekers in his chart and alphabetical 
listing of 132 known 1849 diaries kept on the northern route. 
The chronological and alphabetical arrangement of the diaries 
shows the state and community from which the diarist came, the 
name of the company (if known), the date on which he passed 
more than fifty landmarks along the trail, the effective terminal 
date of his diary as a record of his overland journey, and indicating 
how long after the trip was completed the diary was kept. 

The use of his chart and the diaries has enabled Mr. Morgan 
to present graphically situations at a particular point on the trail 
at various dates in 1849, as he has done in his series of articles 
currently running in the Annals of Wyoming, "Ferries of the 
Forty-Niners." Putting these known diaries under such scholarly 
discipline will enable others to follow with additional studies and 
bring about a greater understanding of the events of this dramatic 

Prefacing the diary is a biography of James Pritchard written 
by his grandnephew, Hugh Pritchard Williamson, assistant attor- 
ney-general of Missouri. Also included is a portrait of Pritchard 
reproduced from an oil painting in the possession of Mr. Wil- 

Two previously unpubUshed maps attributed to J. Goldsborough 
Bruff are reproduced in this volume by courtesy of the National 

Cheyenne Lola M. Homsher 


Beyond a Big Mountain. By Peter Decker. (New York: Hastings 
House. 1959. 278 pp. $3.95.) 

This novel brings to life the men of William H. Ashley's party 
of 1823. 

The young recruit from down Natchez way who signs the muster 
roll as Pidge Pidgeon starts on an adventure that takes him up the 
Missouri and to the Rocky Mountains. His first meeting with 
others of the party — his introduction to the seamy side of water- 
front life — his encounter with the big downriver man called ol' 
Hugh sets the pace for an action packed story that does not falter 
until the bullboats are being packed for the return to St. Louis. 

The toilsome journey up river, the fight with the Arickara tribe 
and the retreat down river and old Hugh's desperate battle with 
the grizzly mark the first part of the trip. The lonely Pidge learns 
to know the trappers and to understand the rivermen as they 
advance ever westward. 

On the Big Horn Pidge meets Sunshine, the young Crow who 
speaks English. The two become "Almost Brothers". The Crows 
direct the trappers to the ancient trail that "goes over a Big 
Mountain to the Siskedee". From the Big Horn to the Wind and 
on to Popo Agie the little band makes its way. Hungry, almost 
frozen they struggle over a barren ridge to the Sweetwater. In 
the shelter of an aspen grove they rest and regain their strength. 
Setting out again, they search for the way around the Big Moun- 
tain. They scarcely know when they reach the place of dividing 
waters. The Siskedee beckons; beaver is abundant; the trapper 
band splits up to rendezvous at the aspen grove in July. 

The lonely silence, the beauty of the high country in spring, the 
majesty of snow covered peaks and the nearness of blazing stars 
becomes a part of Pidge's life. He decides what his future will 
be at the aspen grove. Most readers will agree that it is the right 

Bridgeport, Nebraska Helen Henderson 

The Martins of Gunbarrel. By Mildred Albert Martin. (Cald- 
well, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1959. lUus. 280 p. $5.00.) 

The Martins of Gunbarrel is an autobiography, a true account of 
Mrs. Martin's early married years. In 1923 she worked as a 
waitress, a "savage" as the help entitle themselves, in Yellowstone 
Park where she met her future cowboy husband. They were 
married suddenly and without fanfare that same fall. 

The first year of their marriage they lived at Timber Lodge, 
up the North Fork of the Shoshone River in northwestern Wyo- 


ming. where in winter they trapped fur bearing animals and in 
summer entertained dudes. (The only fiction in the book are a 
few changes of names of places.) 

Mrs. Martin's best friend that first winter turned out to be a 
wonderful wood range which they called Virginia. To quote Mrs. 
Martin, "After that winter I vowed never to be without an old 
fashioned range. We have moved several times since, each move 
taking us a little closer to so-called civilization; but there has 
always been a Virginia in our home. The new ranges may be 
fool-proof and much easier to keep clean, but we could never warm 
up to one enough to include it in our family circle, as we do 

The book is really a family affair since it was illustrated, and 
very well, too, by Paul Reave Martin, the author's son. 

Mrs. Martin has the faculty of placing the beauty and the 
serenity of the mountains, particularly the North Fork, right 
before your eyes. Her descriptions and accounts of wild life, wild 
flowers and everything pertaining to the country are accurate. 

Her accounts of "happenings" on a dude ranch are written 
with a quiet, sympathetic humor few can equal. Describing dude 
ranching as a business she writes, "After my first year as a ranch 
hostess, I felt qualified for the diplomatic service. Sometimes the 
job ballooned into a Herculean task trying to please everybody at 
the same time. While nature in the raw was the doctor's order 
for some, others preferred their Western atmosphere strained and 
whipped up into a souffle." 

Once Mrs. Martin nearly swooned at the thought of entertaining 
some of the Cabots from Boston. She needn't have worried: 
Cabot chopped all the wood used and his wife did her own house- 
keeping. When Mrs. Cabot was informed that they had a bath- 
house she was more than pleased, saying, "Don't tell me you have 
a bathhouse. How grand. The place in Maine where we often 
spend our vacations hasn't any conveniences, so we didn't expect 
to find any out here in the rockies." 

Another guest was a sentimental old maid. Her riding habit 
consisted of trousers with wrap-around leggings which she wore 
with silk stockings and high heeled pumps. She also wore a 
checked jacket with a lace jabot. But what really set her costume 
off was a large, floppy picture hat with a wreath of huge red 
poppies around the crown. It was anchored to her head by a 
filmy grey veil, the ends tied under her chin. She thought such 
little touches of femininity did much for riding apparel which was 
inclined to be far too severe. 

Mrs. Martin's one ambition in life was to learn the "Western 
ways" of her husband, Earl. An encouraging nod of the head or 
the approval in his eyes were her most satisfying rewards. As to 
Earl, his continued patience never failed her. This book is not a 
love story, but one traces through it a continued love and under- 


Standing too few people enjoy. And as a footnote one might 
mention that after thirty-five years of married life this still holds 

There is no "Wild Bill Hickok", "Buffalo Bill" or "Billy the 
Kid" in the story, but, if one wants a delightful, quiet evening's 
entertainment, I am sure he will thoroughly enjoy the book. 

Basin, Wyoming Mrs. P. W. M'etz 

Chant of the Hawk. By John and Margaret Harris. (New York: 
Random House. 308 pp. $3.95.) 

Chant of the Hawk is an historical novel of the mountain men, 
those early trappers and traders who explored and mapped the 
West while on their quests for beaver pelts. The story takes place 
in the 1840's, the period during which trapping was waning and 
the great migration westward on the Oregon Trail was just begin- 

The conflict of this era is reflected in the ancient enmity of 
George Stroud and Jesse Reeshar, independent trappers; in the 
rivalry of two fur trading posts, Fort Laramie, which became a 
famed outpost of the West, and Fort Platte, which survived for 
only a few short years; and in the changing attitudes of the Indians 
toward the trappers — once friendly but now suspicious — and 
toward the whites in the emigrant trains which in their westward 
passage were ruining the grass and the hunting grounds of the 

John and Margaret Harris have written two earlier historical 
novels. The Medicine Whip and Arrow in the Moon. This, their 
third novel, once again shows careful research to make the setting 
authentic and the story one which could have occurred. The 
details of the lives of the Indians, trappers and traders which they 
present give the reader a picture of the life of the real frontier 
of this pre -Wyoming period. 

Cheyenne Lola M. Homsher 


Everett L. Ellis has spent most of his Hfe in Wyoming. He 
is a graduate of the schools in Bums, Wyoming, and he received 
his M.D. from St. Louis University. He has practiced medicine 
in Cheyenne and was a member of the Wyoming Air National 
Guard during the Korean action. Dr. ElUs and his family are at 
present living in Mill Valley, California, while he is doing graduate 
work under a fellowship at Stanford University hospital in San 

Ernest M. Richardson was born in Kansas and raised on a 
Missouri farm. He first came West in the spring of 1906 when he 
worked for the Santa Fe R.R. in southern Colorado. In the fall 
of 1906 he moved to the Burlington Railroad in northeastern 
Wyoming and worked for that company for seven years as 
telegrapher and station agent at various stations along the Sheridan 
division. In 1910 at Newcastle he was married to Mary Elizabeth 
Miller, daughter of Weston County Sheriff Billy Miller who was 
killed in October 1903 by a band of Sioux Indians on Lightning 
Creek. Four children and six grandchildren have come from this 

In 1913 opportunities in the fields of banking, insurance and 
investment company management in Kansas, Missouri, Oregon 
and Minnesota took him from Wyoming. Since retirement from 
active business in 1955 Mr. and Mrs. Richardson have made their 
home in southern California. Mr. Richardson, assisted by his 
wife, has made a hobby of the study of Western history, specializ- 
ing in the history of the Northern Plains states, particularly 

Mrs. Thelma Condit. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, No. 
1, April 1957, p. 120. 

Louis C. Steege. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, No. 1, 
April 1957, p. 121. 

Dale L. Morgan. See Annals of Wyoming, Vol. 29, No. 2, 
October 1958, p. 239. 

Qeneral Jytde^c 


Adams, Mr. & Mrs. Clarence, 218. 

Adams, Mrs. LeRoy Brandley, 218. 

Afton, Wyo.. 90, 91. 

Albany County, 230, 232. 

Allred, James, 14. 

Almost Brothers, 245. 

American Indian Days, film, 232. 

American West (the great), 139. 

Anderson, Mrs. Martha, 226. 

Angus, Red, 56. 

Appie (horse), 195. 

Archaeological notes, 94-108, 227- 

Arehart, George, 177. 

Arminto, Manuel, 195-196; family, 
196-197; Wyoming, 195. 

Armistice (World War I), 138. 

Arms, Cephas, 11, 176, 188-189. 

Armstrong, J. R., 148, 231, 232. 

Army, 223-224. 

Arno, Wyo., 135. 

Arrington, Leonard J., Great Basin 
Kingdom, reviewed by T. A. Lar- 
son, 117-118. 

Arrow in the Moon, 247. 

Arrowheads, See Indians: artifacts. 

Artifacts, See Indians; artifacts; Ar- 
chaeological Notes. 

Ashland Company, 165, 188; Sandia 
Point illus.-228. 

Ashley, Delos R., 9, 17. 

Ashley, William H., 220, 243, 245. 

Ashtabula, Ohio, 150. 

Aspen Hut, paper by Helen Hen- 
derson, 80-82. 

Astor, 244. 

Athearn, Prince Allen, 162. 

Atkinson, Rev., D. B., 43, 45. 

Atkinson, Mrs. D. B., 44, 45, 46. 

Atlantic City, 87. 

Auburn, Wyo., 90. 

Austin, Henry, 183. 

Babbitt, Almon W., diarist, 10. 
Babson Brothers, 70. 
Backus, Gurdon, diarist, 158. 
Badman, Philip, diarist, 146, 174- 

Bagley, Joe, 77; talks on Oregon 
Trail Trek, 83-87, 89-90; 213, 
216, 226. 

Bagley, Lester, talks on Oregon 
Trail Trek, 90-91. 

Baker, Jim, 231. 

Baldwin, Maj. Noyes, 87. 

Bancroft Library, 183. 

Bar C Ranch, 201, 205, 207, 210. 

Barber, Charlie, 201. 

Barnum, Tom, 191, 195, 204; road, 

Barry, James, 177. 

Basin. Wyoming, 247. 

Basye, M. M., 19. 

Batchelder, Amos, diarist, 179. 

Bear River, 225; ferries, 6. 

Beard Hotel, Kaycee, 208. 

Bear, Leonard, 208. 

Beaver Creek, 204. 

Bee Hive Monument, 219. 

Beginning of Town Can be Dated 
from Start of Railroad, 234. 

Belle Fourche R., 133. 

Bennett, Mrs. Ed., 235; Hi (cattle- 
man), 67. 

Benson, John H., diarist, 10, 24-25, 

Berger, Charley, 39. 

Bergren, Mrs. Winifred, 226. 

Bernhisel, Dr. John M., 14, 15. 

Berrien, Joseph Waring, 17, 18. 

Beyond a Big Mountain, by Peter 
Decker, reviewed by Helen Hen- 
derson, 245. 

Biddle, B. R., 22, 188. 

Bieber, Ralph P., 152. 

Big Bend, 216. 

Big Horn Mountains, 127, 132, 134, 
208, 245. 

The Big Horn Basin, by Dick Nel- 
son, 138-139. 

Big Horn County, 231. 

Big Island Bridge, 216-217. 

Big Mountain, 245. 

Big Sandy Crossing, 88, 216. 

Bill Sublette; Mountain Man, by 
John E. Sunder, reviewed by Ruth 
Hudson, 240-241. 

Billings, Montana, 131. 

Billy the Kid, 247. 



Dishop, Mr. & Mrs. Floyd, and chil- 
dren, 226. 

Bishop, Mrs. L. C, 226. 

Bishop, L. C, review of John Hun- 
ton's Diary, v. 1-2, ed. by L. G. 
(Pat) Flannery, 112-113; 23, 77, 
91, 121; review of Teapot Dome, 
239-240; 215, 226, 231. 

Bison Traps, 104, 107. 

Black Henry Smith, 200. 

black Hills, 127, 131, 138, 147, 152, 
164, 171, 174, 186. 

Black Robe Peacemaker Pierre De 
Smet. by J. G. E. Hopkins, re- 
viewed by Mrs. Margaret Hill, 

Black's Ford, 216. 

Black's Fork, 217, 221. 

Blackburn, Daniel, 149. 

Blacksmith, Albino Fillin, 226. 

Blood, Katie E., ed., 175. 

Bloomington Iowa Company, 167. 

Boer War, 208. 

Boggs, John, diarist, 19, 146. 

Bond, Robert, diarist, 156. 

Box Dot brand, 67. 

Box Spring, 213. 

Boy Scouts, 232. 

Boyack. Col. A. R., 77, 213, 218, 

Boyack, Mrs. A. R., compiler of 
Oregon Trail Trek No. 8, 77-93; 
78-80; "Church Buttes," 213, 215, 
218, 220, 226. 

Bow, invention of, 105, 107. 

Boyle, Charles Elisha, 9, 18, 19, 

Bozeman trail, 48, 127, 129. 

Brace, H. J., 149, 150. 

Bradley, Col. William R., 213, 226. 

Bragg, Fred, Biog. of, 33, 36; Fred, 
Sr. biog. of, 33; Laura Inghram 
(Mrs. Fred.) biog. of, 33-40; 
Robert, 33, 36, 40. 

Bragg, W. F., Sr., Laura Inghram 
Bragg, Territorial Pioneer, 33-40; 

Brandley, Mrs. E. J., 218. 

Breece, Mrs. E. J., 226. 

Breyfogle, Joshua D., 8, 15, 16. 

Bretz, Harry, 63, 64. 

Briant, E. (Edwin Bryant, Esq.), 

Bridger Butte, 219. 

Bridger, James, 51, 215, 216, 220- 
221, 224, 247. 

Bridger Valley, 224. 

Brock, Alfred, 209. 

Brown, Mr., from Missouri, 19; 
Company (Missouri), 146; Coun- 
ty, 188; Capt. Frederick, 48; 
James, 146, 188. 

Brown's Hole, 57, 62. 

bruff, J. G., diarist, 29, 213-214, 
181-182, 183, 185, 187, 244. 

Bryant, See Briant. 

Bryne, Moses, 225. 

Buckskin Mountain, 89. 

Buffalo Bill, 247; Bulletin, 234; 
Wyoming, 197, 199, 207, 209. 

buffum, Joseph C, diarist, 9, 22, 

Burbank. A. R., 171. 

Burgett, Daniel, 168, 188. 

Burlington and Missouri R.R., 127, 
129-131, 133-135, 137-139, 248; 
photos, 126, 132. 

Burnett, F. G., 87. 

Burnett, "Mag" (Mrs. W. L. Simp- 
son), 35. 

Burnt Ranch. 77. 

Burrall, George P., 155-156. 

Cabots, from Boston, 246. 
Caldwell, Dr. T. G., diary, 25. 
California, 138, 148, 151, 175, 182, 

187, 242, 244, 248; gold rush, 5; 

trail, 170. 
California Letters of Lucius Fair- 
child, 173. 
Cambria Canyon, 131; Wyoming, 

Cameron, (train), 174. 
Camp Brown, 33; Floyd, Utah, 223; 

Winfield Scott, 223-224. 
Campbell County, 230, 232; Robert, 

241; Robert L., 30. 
Carbon County, 230, 232; museum, 

230; historical society, 234-235. 
Carley, Maurine; compiler. Emi- 
grant Trail Trek No. 9, 213; 223, 

226, 233. 
Carrington, Gen., 51; expedition 

1866, 48, 49. 
Carter, Dr., (Basin, Wyo.,) 40; W. 

A., 224. 
Cashman, Harry J., 235. 
Castleman, P. F., 173, 177, 189. 
Catlin, George, 140-142. 
Cattle drives, over Lander Road, 85; 

trails, 90. 
Chamberlain, William, diary, 9, 




Champion, Ben, 200. 

Chant of the Hawk, by John and 
Margaret Harris, reviewed by 
Lola M. Homsher, 233, 247. 

Cheney, E. F., 87. 

Cheyenne Club, 133. 

Cheyenne, Wyo., 131, 238, 240, 

Chittendem, Mr., 220. 

Chouteau, Pierre (company), 11; 
Pierre, Jr., 221. 

Christopulos, George, 77. 

Church Buttes, 218-219. 

Churchill, Stillman, diarist, 178. 

Circle Dot Ranch, 33, 39. 

Civil War (1861), 224, 237. 

Clarence King, by Thurman Wil- 
kins, reviewed by Mrs. Neva Mil- 
ler, 116-117. 

Clark, Bennett, C, 152. 

Clark, Frank, Jr., review of The 
Great Sioux Uprising, by C. M. 
Oehler, 237-238; reviewed Smith 
and Wesson Revolvers, by J. E. 
Parsons, 120-121. 

Clark, S. B. F., diarist, 173, 177. 

Clayton, William, journal, 7; Erni- 
igrants' Guide, 13. 

Clear Creek, 199. 

Clearmont, Wyo., 199. 

Coalter, Mr. and Mrs. William, 34. 

Coalter's Hall, Lander, Wyo., 34. 

Codding, George R. (Will Co. 111.,) 
166, 187. 

Cody, Isaac, 56. 

Cody, See Buffalo Bill. 

Coffee, Jules E., 87. 

Coffin, Rev., 43. 

Collins, Col. W. O., 79. 

Colton, John B., 177, 189. 

Commissary Ridge, 84, 89-90. 

Concord stage, 34-35, 79. 

Condit, Thelma Gatchell, 121; The 
Hole-in-the-Wall, pt. 5, sect. 4, 
Outlaws and Rustlers, 52-75; pt. 
5, sect. 5, 191-212. 

Cone, Gordon C, diarist, 177-178. 

Considine, Jim, 135-138. 

Cook, Vera, 44. 

Cosad, David, diary, 17. 

Council Bluffs, Iowa, 145. 

The Cowboy at Work, by Fay E. 
Ward, reviewed by A. S. Gilles- 
pie, 110. 

Cox, Leslie, 44, 46. 

Crazy Woman, 211. 

Creighton, Edward, 79. 

Crook, (Gen'l), 237. 

Crooked Muddy Creek, 173. 

Crosby, Jesse W., 15. 

Cross, Maj. Osborne, diary, 26-27, 

28; 147, 173, 189. 
Crow Creek, 91. 
Custer, (Gen'l), 130, 237. 

Daley, Edith, 231; P. E., 235. 

Dalzell, Mrs., 44. 

Dance Halls, 130. 

Dart, Isom, 57, 61-62. 

Darwin, Charles B., diarist, 11, 28, 

Davenport, Jean Margaret, (Mrs. F. 
W. Lander), 86. 

David, Bob, (Robert B.) 231, 234. 

Davis, Charles, 151; Dolly, 69; 
Jane, 226; Maude, (Mrs. Elza 
Lay), 59; Sam, 197. 

Death Valley in '49, 186. 

Decker, Peter, Beyond a Big Moun- 
tain, reviewed by Helen Hender- 
son. 245; 18, 146. 

Deer Creek, 147-148, 152, 155-158, 
172, 174-175, 177-179, 181-183, 

Deer Creek ferry, 29, 30, 181, 186, 
illus. 184. 

Delano, Alonzo, 152-156, 187-188. 

De Rerum Natura, poem by Lucre- 
tius, 107-108. 

DeWitt, Ward G. and Florence, ed. 
Prairie Schooner Lady, the jour- 
nal of Sherrill Ward, 1853, re- 
viewed by Timothy J. Mahoney, 

Dewolf, David, 179. 

Dickenson, E. M., 35; Mary, 35. 

Dixon Hotel, Kaycee, 64, 65, 66, 

Dixon, Joe, 64, 207; Mary, 64-67. 

Doheny, Edward L., 239. 

Dowdle, family, 153. 

Doves, Hank, 201-202. 

Doyle, Simon, 171. 

Drenner (or Drennan), 159, 161, 

Driscoll, William, 39. 

Drummond, Judge W. W., 79. 

Dry Sandy, 215. 

Dryden, Cecil Pearl, Mr. Hunt and 
the Fabulous Plan, reviewed by 
M. R. Rogers, 119-120. 



Dundass. Samuel Rutherford, 168, 

169. 188. 
Durham, William, 84. 89. 
Dusty Jim. 200-201. 

Early Prehistoric Period, Sandia 
Points, by L. C. Steege, 101-104, 
106. 227. 

Eklund, Richard, 226. 

Ellis. Everett, L., 140, 248. 

Ellsworth. Edmund, 13, 14. 

Emerson. Mr. & Mrs. Frank, and 
Elaine, 226. 

Emigrant Trail Trek No. 9., com- 
piled by Maurine Carley, 213, 
226, map of, 214, illus. 217, 219. 

Emigrants, 221. 

Enders, Rev., 44. 

Espy, Mrs. Day, 235. 

Evans. Burrelle, W.. 164. 

Everts, F. D., 170. 

Ewing. Jesse, 62. 

Fagams, Marion, 201. 

Fairchild, Lucius, 173. 

Fall, Mr., 164-165; Albert B., 239. 

Farlow, Jules, (told of his grand- 
father, Jules Lamoreaux), 77, 87- 
88, 213, 226. 

Farnham, Elijah Bryan, diarist, 164, 

Farris. Joe, 87. 

Farson, Wyo., 213, 215-216, 221. 

Faulkner. Virginia, ed., 243. 

Ferries. See Mormon, Lombard, 
Fort Laramie, Deer Creek, Deer 
River, Freeman's, Ham's Fork, 
North Platte River, Smith's Fork, 
Robinson, Findley, Sublette Cut- 
Off, Upper Ferry; Fees asked: 7, 
10-12, 16, 17, 22-25, 28, 29. 

1 he Perries of the Forty-Niners, by 
Dale L. Morgan, 5-31; Part II, 
145-189, 244. 

Feltner, Joanne, 226. 

Felton, Gerald, 235. 

Fenwick, R. W. "Red", Denver, 234. 

Fetterman Monument Sign, 232. 

Findley, William (Capt. Col.), 
148-149, 150-151; site, 159, 163, 
187, 188. 

Finley. Capt. See Findley. 

Fish Creek, 90; 164. 

Flammer, Rev. William, 43, 44. 

Flannery, L. G. (Pat) ed. of John 
Hiinton's Diary, v. 1-2, reviewed 
by L. C. Bishop, 112-113. 

Ford (Oskaloosa Company) 174. 

Foster, Isaac, diarist, 145, 166, 177, 
1 87-1 88 

Forts: Bridger, 148, 215, 216, 218, 
220-225; Casper, 29; Connor, 49; 
Fetterman, 232; Hall, 147, 215; 
John 6-7; Phil Kearny, 49, 50, 51, 
232; Laramie, 145-146, 160, 186, 
215, 220, 221, 231, 243, 247; 

Piney, 89; Platte, 7, 247; C. F. 
Smith, 49; Stambaugh, 87; Fred 
Steele, 235; Supply, 223, 225; 
Thompson, 8, 84; Washakie, 33; 
William, 6. 

Fort Kearney - South Pass - Honey 
Lake Road, See Lander Road. 

Fort Laramie, ferries, 6-12; 186. 

Forty-Niners, 5-31, 146-189. 

Fosher, Abe, 87; John, 87. 

Foster, Isaac, diary, 10. 

Franks, John B., 77. 

Franz, H. B., 177, 189. 

Fredenburg, Mr. (J.H.), 153. 

Freeman's ferry, 17. 

Freighting, Bozeman trail, 50, 51. 

Fremont County, 230, 232. 

Fremont's crossing, 25. 

"French Pete" See Gazzous, Louis. 

Frewen Brothers, 191; Castle, 191; 
Moreton, 202. 

Frontier America: The Story of the 
WestM'ard Movement, by Thomas 
D. Clark, reviewed by T. A. Lar- 
son, 238. 

Fur Trade, 220. 

Gallaway, Capt., 151. 
Gardner, Mrs. Tom, 209. 
Garrad, Lewis, "Wah-To-Yah", 142. 
Gatchell, T. James, Life and Early 

History of John "Posey" Ryan, 

48-52,' 121. 
Gazzous, Louis, 49. 
Geiger, Vincent E., 23, 161, 188. 
Gelwicks, Daniel W., 17, 18. 
German, Ira, 201. 
Gettys, Claude, 232. 
Ghost Dances, 131; shirts, 131. 
Gilbert, Samuel A., 222. 



Gilbert's Trading Post, 77, 78-80, 

Gillespie, A. S., review of The Cow- 
hoy at Work, by Fay E. Ward, 

Gillette, Wyo., 130, 133, 136, 139. 

Glendo Reservoir, Wyo., archaeo- 
logical research, 104, 106. 

Gooldy, John, 235. 

Gordon, Mrs. Alex, 235; Frank, 

Gosney, Elmer, 199. 

Gould, Charles, 179, 183. 

Grass Spring, 88. 

Graves, 225. See Dunham Mead, 

Gray, Charles, diarist, 156. 

Grayhem, A., 177. 

Great Basin Kingdom, by L. J. Ar- 
rington, reviewed by T. A. Lar- 
son, 117-118. 

Great Salt Lake City, 148, 156, 215, 

The Great Sioux Uprising, by C. M. 
Oehler, reviewed, 237. 

The Great West, ed. by C. Neider, 
reviewed by Lola M. Homsher, 

Green River, 142, 150, 216, 218, 
223; ferries, 5-6; county, Utah, 

Greene, John, 14. 

Gregory, Leonard, 231. 

Greybull Standard, 234. 

Grieve, Mayor Leeland U., 233. 

Grigg, Mr. Alfred, 191-193, 195, 
197, 199, 201, 208-212, photo, 
192; Sarah, 191, 192; photo, 194; 
Hotel, 210; Post office, 191, 194, 
illus. 190; Wyoming, 191-192, 
204, photos. 

Grigg, Mrs. Sarah, 191, 192. 

Grinnell, George Bird, reports on 
Medicine Wheel, 94. 

Grover, Mr., 50; Thomas, 12, 13. 

Guild, Charles F., 219, 225, 226. 

Granger, Wyo., 217-218. 

Hackney, Joseph, 159, 160, 162, 

Hadsell, Kleber H., 232-235. 
Haight, Isaac C, 15. 
Haines, Capt., 149. 
Hale, Israel, diary, 24, 162. 
Hall, O. J., 11-12; R. H., 87. 

Hambleton, M. D., 14. 

Hamelin, Joseph, 147-148. 

Hams Fork, ferry, 6, 217-219. 

Handcart Company, (1847), 225. 

Hankin, George, 89. 

Hanson, Gold-tooth, 207. 

Harkins, Mrs. Donald J., 33. 

Harlan, Jim, 195. 

Harmon, Appleton M., 13, 14, 15, 

Harris, John and Margaret, Chant 
of the Hawk, reviewed by Lola 
M. Homsher, 247; 233. 

Harve Turk's Hardware Store, 200. 

Haslip, John B., 148. 

Hass, Harry, 43. 

Hasting's Cutoff, 82. 

Haymond, Maj., 49. 

Haynes, James, 151. 

Hays, Mrs. Irving, 235. 

Haystack Butte, 219, 225. 

Hebron Company, 164-165. 

Hedgepeth. See Hudspeth. 

Henderson, Helen, paper on Aspen 
Hut, 80-82; review of Beyond a 
Big Mountain, 245; Mr. 187; 
County, 148. 

Hendrickson, Dug, 38. 

Henley, James, 177, 189. 

Hereford Cattle Co. (Script A Bar), 

Herman, Leo I., review of The Hu- 
mour of the American Cowboy, 
by Stan Hoig, 111-112. 

Hess, Fama, 44, 46; Jasper, 41; 
LuEmily, 44; W. L., 46. 

Hickey, J. J. Gov., 225. 

Hibbon, K., 208. 

Hidalgo, Guadalupe, (1848), 221. 

Hildebrand, Elizabeth, 77, 213, 216; 
Lyle, 77, 213, 226. 

Hill, Mrs. Margaret, review of 
Black Robe Peacemaker, Pierre 
De Smet, by J. G. E. Hopkins, 

Hilton, Mr. & Mrs. Batlet, 226. 

Hines, Mrs. Missou, 35. 

Historic Sites Commission, 231. 

Historical Awards, 233. 

Historical Department, 232; Land- 
marks Commission, 225, 231, 

Hixon, Jasper M., 19, 146. 

Hobble Creek, 89. 

Hockaday, John M., 222. 

Hoffman, Mrs. Veda, 226. 



Hoig. Stan, The Humour of the 
American Cowboy, reviewed by 
Leo L Herman, 111-112. 

Hole-in-the-Wall gang, 39. 

The Hole-in-the-Wall, pt. 5, sect. 4, 
Outlaws and Rustlers, by Thelma 
Gatchell Condit, 53-75; pt. 5, 
sect. 5, 191-212: 137; gang, 39; 
maps of, 58, 198. 

Hoiladay. Ben, 224; Overland Stage 
Road, 217. 

Homsher, Lola M., 33; review of 
The Great West, ed. by C. Nei- 
der. 114-115; review of The Over- 
land Diary of James A. Pritchard 
from Kentucky to California in 
1849. 243; 23 f, 233, 247. 

Hopkins, J. G. E.. Black Robe 
Peacemaker, Pierre De Smet, re- 
viewed by Mrs. Margaret Hill, 

Hord. Mrs. Violet, 233. 

Horn. Tom, 55, 192-193. 

Hornbeck, Mrs. Charles, 235. 

Hornecker, Earnest. 87; Mart, 87. 

Horse Creek, 145. 

Horseshoe Bar Brand, 67-68. 

Hopper. Rev. C. Arch, 233. 

Hostiles and Friendlies, by Mari 
Sandoz, reviewed, 242. 

Houke. Ed, 70. 

Howell. Elijah P., 26. 

Hudson. Ruth, review of Bill Sub- 
lette; Mountain Man, 240-241. 

Hudspeth, Benoni Morgan, 143, 

Huestis, A. J., 164. 

The Humour of the American Con- 
bo\, by Stan Hoig. reviewed by 
Leo I. Herman, 111-112. 

Hunton. John, Diary of, ed. by L. 
G. (Pat) Flannery, reviewed by 
L. C. Bishop, 112-113. 

Husband, Bruce, 7-8. 

Hutchings, James M.. 185. 


Artifacts, 101-108; prehistoric, 
101 - 104; middle prehistoric, 
104-105; late prehistoric, 105; 
historic, 106-107. 

Chiefs and individuals: Paiute, 
called Wovoka, 131; Sitting 
Bull, 131; Sunshine (Crow), 
245; Chief Washakie, 33, 224; 
Pidgeon (Pidge) 245. 

Messiah Craze, 131. 

Sioux braves, 237. 

Tribes: Arickara, 245; Cheyenne, 
142; Comanche, 199; Dakota, 
143; Jivaro, of Ecquador, 140; 
North American (about 1862), 
140, 216; Plains Indians, 140, 
220; Pima Indians of Arizona, 
143; Pawnee, 142. 

Jackson, David, 243. 

Jacob, Norton, 7. 

Jagger, D., diary, 25, 172. 

Jarot, Vital, 17. 

Jarrard, Olf, 207. 

Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Pro- 
vide) by Fama Hess Stoddard, 

Jewett. George E., diary, 10, 167- 
168, 171. 

Jireh, Wyo., 41-47; meaning of, 43; 
College, 41-47, 1910, illus.. Ex- 
perimental Farm. 

John Hunton' s Diary, v. 1-2, ed. by 
L. G. (Pat) Flannery, reviewed 
by L. C. Bishop. 112-113. 

Johnson County, 133, 192, 197, 200. 
207-208, 230, 232. 

Johnson County Cattle War, 133. 

John, Private Peter, 50. 

Johnson, Mrs. William, 35. 

Johnston's Army, 219, 223. 

Johnston, Gen. Albert Sidney, 216. 
223, 224; William G., 9, 16. 

Josselyn, Amos (company), 158. 

Independence, Mo., 180, 223, 244. 
Inghram, Harry D.. 33; Mr. & Mrs. 

W. D., 34. 
Iowa. 182, 187, 228. 
Iron Horse Wrangler, by Ernest M. 

Richardson, 127-139. 
Irwin. James, 87. 
Island Park ranch, 57. 
Isham. G. S., 146. 

K. B. & C. (Subcontractors), 132. 

Kaufman Cave, 234. 

Kaycee, Wyo., 1900, illus., 54; 191, 

194, 200, 204, 207, 208. 
Keeline, Wyo., 42. 
Keith, Adam, 201-206. 



Kelly, William, 9, 16. 

Kendrick, Senator, 46. 

Ketchum. Tom, (Black Jack), 61. 

Kimbal. Hiram, 79. 

King, Clarence, by T. Wilkins, re- 
viewed by Mrs. Neva Miller, 116- 

Kip, John, diary, 11, 146. 

Kilpatrick, Bill, 128. 

Kilpatrick Bros. & Collins, 128. 

Kirpatrick, Charles Alexander, 159- 
160, 189; Jim, 49. 

Kirtley, Mrs. O. U., (Stella Webb), 

Kuykendall, Hugh, 50. 

LaBarge Creek, 89; meadows, 90; 
ranger station, 89. 

LaBonte, Pierre, Jr., 213, 226. 

Ladeau, Antoine, 50. 

Lambertson, Mrs. Walter L., 231. 

Lamoreaux, Clement, 87; Jules, 87- 
88; Oliver, 87; William, 87; mea- 
dows, 87. 

Lander, Wyo., early days, 33-40; 

Lander Creek Crossing, 82. 

Lander Cut-Off, 80. 

Lander Road, account of by C. G. 

Coutant, 85-86; building of, 80-82, 
83-87; Survey, 83-85; trek over. 
78; cattle trail, 90. 

Lander, Frederick W., 80, 81, 83, 

La Prele Creek, 176, 181. 

Laramie Mountains, 152. 

Laramie River, ferries, 6-12; 145. 

Lavoy, Wyo., 74. 

Lay, Elza, 57, 59, 60-61, 62. 

Larsen, Mrs. Arnold, 235. 

Larsen, John, artifact collection, 

Larson, Robert L., 231, 234. 

Larson, Dr. T. A., review of Fron- 
tier America: The Story of the 
Westward Movement, by Thomas 
D. Clark, 231; 238-239; review of 
The Great Basin Kingdom, by L. 
J. Arrington, 117-118; review of 
Who Rush to Glory, by C. P. 
Westermeir, 113-114. 

Latter-day Saints, 222; Church, 218. 

Laura Inghram Bragg, Territorial 
Pioneer, by W. F. Bragg, Sr., 33- 

Lawson, J. M., Topographer, 213, 

Layton, Mrs. George, and children, 

Lee, John D., diary, 30, 31. 
Lee, Orin, 216. 
Lenhart, Charles, 226. 
Lewis, Elisha B., 171; Mary, 225. 
Life and Early History of John 

"Posey" Ryan, by T. James Gat- 

chell, 48-52. 
Lightning Creek, 248. 
Linch, Wyo., 194. 
Lindsay, Lt. Andrew Jackson, artist, 

Lindsey, Tipton, diarist, 156. 
Little America, 217. 
Little Cottonwood Canyon, 223. 
Little Sandy Crossing, 87, 221. 
Littleton, E. A., 231, 233. 
Lombard, or Mormon Ferry, 216, 

Long, Charles L'Hommedieu, 147. 
Lord, Isaac P., diary, 11, 28, 31, 

Loring, Col. W. W., 27. 
Love, Capt., of Ohio, 169. 
Lowe, B. F., 86; Frank, 87. 
Lower Ferries of the Upper North 

Platte, 148, 181. 
Lucretius, poem by, De Rerum 

Natura, 107. 
Lyman, Amasa, 14. 
Lytle, Andrew, 14. 

MacDougall, A. H., President's 

Message, 109; 230, 233. 
MacKenzid, Camille Coalter (Mrs. 

Hector), 34. 
McAuslan, Edward, 235. 
McCabe, William, 87. 
McCall, A. J., diarist, 169-170, 187. 
McCoy, Samuel, diary, 28-29. 
McCullouch, Capt., 150. 
McCumber, H. B., 87. 
McGinnis, Bill, 57. 
McKean, Wyo., 104, 105. 
McKinstry, Bruce, 214, 215; Byron, 

Magraw, William, M. F., 79, 80, 81, 

Mahan, Richard, review of Hostiles 

and Friendlies by Mari Sandoz, 




Mahoney, Timothy J., review of 
Prairie Schooner Lady, the Jour- 
nal of Sherrill Ward,'242; 232. 

Mail Stations, on Oregon Trail, 79. 

Manly, William L., 185. 

Mann, Henry R., 169. 

Manville, 41, 42. 

Manypenny, George W., 222. 

Marincic, Phil, ranch of, 88. 

Maris, Ellis R., 134. 

Markle, John A., diary, 23, 157-158. 

Marsolf, Mr. & Mrs. C. F., 77, 226. 

Martin, Mildred Albert, The Mar- 
tins of Giinharrel, reviewed by 
Mrs. P. W. Metz, 245-247; 233; 
Earl, 246. 

Martin, Mrs. R. D., 235. 

The Martins of Giinharrel, by Mil- 
dred Albert Martin, reviewed by 

Mrs. P. W. Metz, 245-247; 233. 

Mead, I. M., grave of, 84, 89. 

Meade, Jack, 37. 

Medicine Wheel, 234. See A Re- 
port on the Medicine Wheel In- 

Meeks, Bub, 59-61. 

Memoirs of a Forty-Niner, 175. 

Merino, (later Upton), 130. 

Merkle, 158. 

Metz, Mrs. P. W., review of The 
Martins of Giinharrel, 245-247. 

Middle Fork (1884), 199, 197, 204. 

Middleton, Joseph, diarist, 181. 

Mighels, Ella Sterling, ed., 173. 

Military operations, 11th Ohio Vol- 
unteers, 79; 51st Missouri Volun- 
teer Infantry, Company A, 48; 
Fifth U. S. Volunteer Infantry, 

Miller, Sheriff Billy, 248; Mary 
Elizabeth, 248; I. K., 235, photo, 
236; Mr. & Mrs. Neal, 235-236. 

Miller, Mrs. Neva, review of Clar- 
ence King, by Thurman Wilkins, 

Minick, Ben, 39. 

Minnesota uprising, 237. 

Missouri, 215-216, 222, 228, 244- 
245, 248. 

Missourians, 182. 

Mitchell, Lyman, diary, 10-11, 26; 
147, 172-173, 188. 

Mondell, Frank, 43, 128. 

Monroe Company, 148. 

Moore, J. K., 33, 87. 

Morgan, Dale L., The Ferries of 
The Forty-Niners, 5-31; 121; 145- 
189; The Overland Diary of 
James A. Pritchard from Ken- 
tucky to California in 1849, re- 
viewed, 243-244; 248. 

Morgan, Jesse, 186; Martha M., 

Morgareidge, Charlie, 201. 

Mormans, 7, 80, 81, 148-149, 153, 
163-164, 168, 179, 181, 215, 216, 
217, 218, 219, 221, 223, 224, 225; 
Militia, 216; trail, 186. 

Mormon ferry, 12-31, 32, 145-148, 
150-152. 158, 160, 162, 163, 167- 
169, 172-173, 176-179, 186-189, 

Mormon Mail Station (Burnt Ranch) 

Morrell. Hiram F., 222. 

Moses, Dr. Israel, 13. 

Mr. Hunt and the Fabulous Plan, by 
C. P. Dryden, reviewed by M. R. 
Rogers, 119-120. 

Muddy Creek, 173, 177. 186-189, 

Muddy Creek Stage and Pony Ex- 
press Station, 225. 

Muleskinners, 131. 

Mule Trains, Cincinnati, 165. 

Mullen, Mrs. John, 235. 

Murphy Creek, 55, 63, 201. 

Murphy, E. U., 201; Harry C, 139; 
Waugh, 201, 202. 

Murrin, Miss Mae, 138. 

Myers Crossing, 225. 

Myers, Fred, 225. 

Myrick, Andrew, 237. 

National Order of Cowboy Rang- 
ers, 74. 

National Park Service, 231. 

Natrona County, 195, 230, 232. 

Nauvoo Legion, 222. 

Neal String, 91. 

Nebraska, 127, 201, 207, 242. 

Neider, Charles, ed. of The Great 
West, reviewed by Lola M. Hom- 
sher, 114-115. 

Nelson, Dick J., 127-139; The Big 
Horn Basin, 139; Only a Cow 
Country, 139; Dad, 127, 134, 135, 
137; Lou J.. 235; Mrs. Mae, 138; 
photo of, 128. 

Nevins, Julius Martin, 169. 



Newcastle, Wyo., 130, 131, 134, 

139, 248. 
Nickerson, Capt., H. G., 37, 78, 87. 
Noble, W. P., 33, 87. 
Noble and Bragg, 33. 
Nolan, John, 200. 
North Platte River, 216; ferries, 

5-31, 146-147, 156, 189. 
Northern Pacific R.R., 131, 133. 
Nowood, Wyo., 38. 
Nutt, Harry C, 135; H. C, Jr., 134. 

O'Connel, John, 177. 

Oehler, C. M., The Great Sioux 

Uprising, reviewed by Frank 

Clark, Jr., 237. 
Oil Creek, 127, 134. 
Old Country Dances Provided Most 

Fun, 243'. 
Oldman, Mrs. Bert, 235. 
Oquawka, 149, 151, 177. 
Oregon, 147-148, 225, 228, 248. 
Oregon Trail, 213, 215, 220, 247. 
Oregon Battalion, 175. 
Oregon Trail Trek, No. 8, compiled 

by Mrs. A. R. Boyack, 77-93; 

map, 76. See Emigrant Trail 

Outlaw Trail, 195; tree, 57. 
Overland Diary of James A. Pritch- 

ard from Kentucky to California 

in 1849, ed. by Dale L. Morgan, 

reviewed by Lola M. Homsher, 

Overland Trail, 218. 

Pacific Springs, 214. 

Paden, Irene D., 189. 

Page, Elizabeth, 161; Henry, 159- 


Palmer, Joel, 221. 

Papagos, 143. 

Parke, Charles, 163. 

Parker, George LeRoy (Butch Cas- 

sidy), 35, 53, 57, 59, 60-61, 62. 
Parkman, Francis, 140. 
Parsons, John E., Smith and Wesson 

Revolvers, reviewed by F. G. 

Clark, Jr., 120-121. 
Parting of the Ways, presented by 

Mrs. Mary Hurlburt Scott, 214, 


Paul, Capt., G. W., 7, 15; Elizabeth, 
grave of, 89. 

Pease, diarist, 20, 140. 

Peirson, Mrs. George, 235. 

Pelon, John, 87. 

Peno Creek, 49. 

Perkins, E. Douglas, diary, 29, 30, 
31, 187. 

Petty, James, 231. 

Peverley, Howard, 235. 

Pfeifer, C. W.. 44. 

Pickering, Mr. (Loring) & Lady, 

Piedmont (Station), 225. 

Pine Ridge, 131. 

Piney Fort, See Fort Piney. 

Pioneer Line, 174-175. 

Pioneer Week, 233. 

Pioneers, 148, 225. 

Pittsburg wagons, 157. 

Platte Ferry, 179; illus. 144. 

Platte River, 145-148, 152, 155, 
158, 160, 162-175, 178-181, 183, 
185-187, 243. 

Pogue, Mr., (Lander, Wyo.), 38. 

Pony Express and Stage Station, 
218, 224; Centennial, 1960, 231. 

Popo Agie, 245, 253. 

Porter, Col. Andrew, 27. 

Potts Livery Stable, Kaycee, 73. 

Powder River, 131, 133, 136, 138- 
139, 191. 204, 207-208; country 
127, 129. 138-139, 191, 202; val- 
ley, 127. 

Powell, Lyle, 44. 

Prairie Dog Creek, 49. 

Pratt, Parley, at Green River ferry, 

Prairie Schooner Lady, the Journal 
of Sherrill Ward, 1853, by Ward 
G. and Florence S. DeWitt, Ed- 
itors, reviewed by Timothy J. Ma- 
honey, 242. 

Pritchard, James A., diary. 5, 19; 
146, 243, 244. 

Prichet, John, diary, 23. 

Pumpkin Buttes, 127. 

Ranches. See TTT, Bar C, Burnt, 
Circle Dot, Island Park, Joe 
Webb, Willow Creek. 

Ramsay, Alexander, 23. 

Rasmusson, Art, 235. 

Rawlins-Lander stage, 33, 34. 



Rawlins National Bank Collection, 

Rawlins Spring Site, 230. 

Red Buttes, 12. 

Red Fork, 197. 

Red Rock Company, 167. 

Red Wall Country, map of, 58, 198. 

Reeshar, Jesse, 247. 

Regiment of Mounted Riflemen, 
147, 173, 189. 

A Report on the Medicine Wheel 
Investigation, by Wyoming Ar- 
chaeological Society, 94-100. 

Rettstatt, L. D., 235. 

Revenue Cutter, boat, 7. 

Revolutionary War, 141. 

Rex. George, 142. 

Reynolds, Mr. & Mrs. Adrian W., 
218, 219, 226. 

Richardson, Ernest M., Iron Horse 
Wrangler, 127-139; 248. 

Riley, Hugh, photo, 54, 69-73. 

Rissler, Joe, 207. 

Ritchey. Milton, 149. 

Ritter, Cecil, 65; Mr. & Mrs. 
Charles and niece, 226, 232. 

Roberts, Owen J., 240. 

Robertson, C. W., 89. 

Robinson Ferry, 217; Lewis, 222. 

Rock Creek, 8 1 . 

Rockwell, Orrin P., 14. 

Rocky Mountain Fur Co., 243. 

Rocky Ridge, 86. 

Rogers, Mary Read, review of Mr. 
Hunt and the Fabulous Plan, by 
C. P. Dryden, 119-120. 

Rollinson, John K., 85. 

Rosebud River, 133. 

Rosenstock, Fred A., 178. 

Rough Riders, 216. 

Russell, William H., 17. 

Russell, Majors and Waddell, 79. 

Ryan, John "Posey", 48-52. 

St. Louis, Missouri, 165, 221, 244- 

Salt, in Wyoming, 91. 

Salt River Range, 89; river, 90; 
Lake, 146-148, 221; road, 215. 

Salt Lake City, 222-223. 

Sander, Dorris, 226, 232. 

Sandoz, Mari, Hostiles and Friend- 
lies, reviewed by Richard Mahan, 

Schafer, Joseph, ed., 173. 

Scherbel, Mr. & Mrs. Paul and chil- 
dren, 226. 
Scherck Bridge, 199. 
Schubert, Paul, 234. 
Scott, Mrs. Mary Hurlburt, 215, 

Script A Bar brand, 39. 
Searls, Niles, 175; Robert M., 175. 
Sedgley, Joseph, diarist, 176. 
Seedskadee Project, 216. See Siske- 

The Sequence in Northern Plains 

Prehistory, by L. C. Steege, 101- 

Settle, Raymond W., ed., 173. 
Settles, Johnny, 38. 
Shaw, Jim, cattle outfit, 70. 
Sheep Wagon Breakfast, 235; illus., 

Sheridan, Wyo., 134-136, 138, 139, 

Sherlock, Richard, 87. 
Sherman, Mr. & Mrs. Charles, 44; 

"Uncle" Billy. 42. 
Shorthorns, 244. 
Shumway, Charles, 14, 15, 30, 146, 

Signal Butte, Nebr., 104, 105. 
Simpson's Hollow, 216, 223; train, 

Sims, Albert G., 77, 226. 
Simms, S. C, 94. 
Simonson, Maj. John S., 23. 
Sioux Reservation, 131; war, 238. 
Siskedee, 245. See Seedskadee. 
Slaughter House Gulch, 82. 
Smith, Jedediah, 243; John R., 195; 

Capt. Lot, 216. "" 
Smith and Wesson Revolvers, by J. 

E. Parsons, reviewed by F. G. 

Clark, Jr., 120-121. 
Smith's Fork, 89; ferry, 6. 
Snider, Horace, 63, 64. 
Snyder Basin, 89. 

Soldier's Home, Buffalo, Wyo., 51. 
South Pass, 78, 87, 145, 160, 215; 

stage station, 78-80. 
Spiegel, Mr., 231. 
Steege, Louis C, The Sequence in 

Northern Plains Prehistory, 101- 

108; Early Prehistoric Period, 

Sandia Points, 227-229; 121, 231, 

Stewart, Sir William Drummond, 

Stockade Beaver Creek, 131. 
Stockwell map of Medicine Wheel, 




Stoddard, Fama Hess, Jehovah Jireh 

(The Lord Will Provide), 41-47; 

biog. of, 121; Lee C, 45. 
Stroud, George, 247. 
Strawberry Creek, 81. 
Stuart, Joseph A., diarist, 180, 181. 
Stump and White Salt Works, 91. 
Stump Creek, 91. 
"Stuttering Dick", 39. 
Spaugh, Mr. & Mrs., A. A., 44. 
Speck, Bill, 52-75. 
Spooner, E. A., diary, 24. 
Spring Creek raid, 30. 
Stage Coach King, 224. 
Standing Rock Reservation, 131. 
Stansbury, Capt. Howard, 183, 185. 

188, 221. 
Stanton, Col. T. H.. U.S. Army, 

Staples, David Jackson, diarist, 29, 

Stark Co., (Ohio), 168. 
Starr, John and M. R. Werner, Tea- 
pot Dome, reviewed by L. C. 

Bishop, 239. 
State Library, Archives and Histor- 
ical Board, 232. 
Steck, Amos, 172. 
Sublette, Andrew, 240; Bill, 240- 

241; County, 240; Milton, 243; 

Pinckney, 240; Solomon. 240; 

William R., 6, 240. 
Sublette Cut-off, 215, 240; ferry, 6; 

trail, 240. 
Sun, Tom, 85. 
Sunder, John E., Bill Sublette; 

Mountain Man, reviewed by Ruth 

Hudson, 240-241. 
Sundin, Mrs. Clifford. 235. 
Supply City, 223. 
Sussex, Wyo., 201. 
Swain, William, 178. 
Sweetwater County, 164, 229-230, 

232, 243, 245; Historical Society, 

Sylvan Lake, 138. 

TTT ranch, 68, 70, 191, 20L 
Tanner, Francis, 77, 89, 213, 226; 

Helen, 77. 
Taggart, Harold F., 179. 
Tappan, William Henry, artist, 31, 

Tate, James, diarist, 166. 
Taylor (lawyer), 171. 

Taylor, Capt., 157. 

Teapot Dome, by M. R. Werner and 
John Starr, reviewed by L. C. 
Bishop, 239-240. 

The Overland Diary of James A. 
Pritchard from Kentucky to Cali- 
fornia in 1849, reviewed by Lola 
M. Homsher, 243-244, 248. 

Thomas, Andy, 70-71; Roscoe, 201; 
William L., diary, 20. 

Tierney, Ed., 231, 234-235; Mrs. 
Ed., 235. 

Tiffany, P. C, 145-146. 

Tillman, Eve, 204. 

Timber Lodge, 245. 

Tinker, Charles, 150. 

Tisdale Brothers, 68; Johnny, 70; 
Bob, 70; Mrs., 209. 

Tisdale and May, 191. 

Tongue River, 133. 

To Take A Scalp, by Everett L. 
Ellis, 140-143. 

Toothaker, Wilbur, 235. 

Toddy, Jack, (sometimes Totty), 
66, 197, 199-201. 

Totty's Saloon, Kaycee, 200. 

Townsend, H. M., 213, 226. 

Trabing, dipping vats, 201. 

Trails. See Oregon Trail Trek, Fer- 
ries of the 49'ers, Emigrant Trail 

Truesdell, Mr., 38-39. 

Tucker, 177. 

Turner and Allen, 175. 

Turner (Pioneer Line), 175. 

Tutt, Capt. (CM.), 153. 

Tweet, Boss, 87. 

Uinta County, 219, 230, 232; His- 
torical Society, 219. 

Uintah Range, 220, 222. 

Union Pacific Railroad, 138, 218; 
illus. on cover, 31:2. 

United States, 140-141, 221, 223. 

Univac Machines, 133. 

Upper Crossing, North Platte, 6, 12- 

Upper Ferry, 147, 181. 

Upton, Wyo., 130. 

Uruwink, Ira, 195. 

Utah, 183, 216, 222-224; Expedi- 
tion, 223; Militia, 216, 223; Ter- 
ritory, 223. 

Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks 
Association, 225. 



Vasquez, Louis, 221-222, 224. 

Vass, Irene, 226. 

Vivion. Charles, 235; photo, 236. 

Wack, Luther, 226. 
"Wah-To-Yah", by Lewis Garrad. 

Walker, Mrs. Graham, 226. 
Walker, Chief, 222. 
Walker, Dr. (Hyattville, Wyo.,), 40. 
Walker's War (1853), 222. 
Wall, J. Tom, 75. 
Wallace, Mrs. Nancy. 232. 
Walsh. Thomas J., 240. 
Ward, Fay E., The Cowboy at 

Work, reviewed by A. S. Gisses- 

pie, 110. 
Ward, Frances, 242: H. J., 176; 

Harriett Sherrill, 242; William 

Trowbridge, 242. 
Washbaugh, Charles S., 234. 
Washakie County, established, 37. 
Watt Stage Stop, 199. 
Watson, William J., 158-159, 188. 
Weather, May, 1849, 18. 
Webb. Early, 194; Joe, 191-194, 

199; ranch 194; Lou, 63, 194; 

Stella, 194. 
Webster. Kimball, diarist, 180. 
Werner, M. R. and John Starr, 

Teapot Dome, reviewed by L. C. 

Bishop, 239. 
Westermeier, Clifford, P., Who 

Rush to Glory, reviewed by T. A. 

Larson, 113-114. 
Westerfield, James, 149. 
Who Rush to Glory by C. P. West- 
ermeier, reviewed by T. A. Lar- 
son, 113-114. 
Wight, J. L., 57. 
"Wild Bunch" (Butch Cassidy's), 

Wild Bill Hickok, 247. 
Wilkins, Mrs. Edness Kimball, 232, 

Wilkins, Thurman, Clarence King, 

reviewed by Mrs. Neva Miller, 

Williford, Capt. George W., 49. 
Willis, Edward J., 147; Gail, 235. 
Willis and Prichet, 188. 
Willford, Mrs. Carl, 235. 
Williamson, Hugh Pritchard, 244. 
Willow Creek, 201 ; ranch, 70; Cross- 
ing, 82. 

Willson, Mr. & Mrs. E. B., 44. 
Wistar, Isaac J., 163, 164. 
Wister, Owen, 136. 
Wood, Joseph Warren, diarist, 165, 

188; Newton, 151. 
Woodbury. Lt. Daniel P., 11. 
Woodruff, Wilford, 215. 
World War I, 138. See Armistice. 
World War H, 139. 
World's Fair, 204. 
Wounded Knee Creek, 131. 
Wyoming, 127, 139, 201, 204, 215, 

218, 224, 229, 243-244. 
Wyoming Air National Guard, 248. 
Wyoming Archaeological Society, 

A Report on the Medicine Wheel 

Investigation, 94-100. 
Wyoming Archaeological Notes. 94- 

"108, 227-229; 234. 
Wyoming State Archives & Histori- 
cal Dept.. 225. 
Wyoming State Historical Society, 

President's Message, by A. H. 

MacDougall, 109, 230; Annual 

Meeting, 230-236. 
Wyoming Stock Growers Associa- 
tion, 133. 
Wyoming Territory, 127, 129, 138, 

220, 222, 224. 
Wyoming, University of, 243-244. 
Wyoming's Wonderful Women, 234. 

X. Y. Express and Mail Line, (Salt 
Lake City to Independence, Mo.), 


Y. X. Company, 79. 
Yellowstone, 132; Park, 245. 
Young, Brigham, 79, 215, 216, 221- 

223; Mr. & Mrs. John M., 207; 

hotel, illus. 190; Lorenzo Dow, 

14-15; Ritchie, 201; Sheldon, 165, 

1 88 
Young's Cafe, 199. 

Zindel, Mr., 74. 


The Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department has as its func- 
tion the collection and preservation of the record of the people of Wyo- 
ming. It maintains a historical library, a museum and the state archives. 

The aid of the citizens of Wyoming is solicited in the carrying out of its 
function. The Department is anxious to secure and preserve records and 
materials now in private hands where they cannot be long preserved. Such 
records and materials include: 

Biographical materials of pioneers: diaries, letters, account books, auto- 
biographical accounts. 

Business records of industries of the State: livestock, mining, agricul- 
ture, railroads, manufacturers, merchants, small business establishments, 
and of professional men as bankers, lawyers, physicians, dentists, ministers, 
and educators. 

Private records of individual citizens, such as correspondence, manuscript 
materials and scrapbooks. 

Records of organizations active in the religious, educational, social, 
economic and political life of the State, including their publications such 
as yearbooks and reports. 

Manuscript and printed articles on towns, counties, and any significant 
topic dealing with the history of the State. 

Early newspapers, maps, pictures, pamphlets, and books on western 

Current publications by individuals or organizations throughout the 

Museum materials with historical significance: early equipment, Indian 
artifacts, relics dealing with the activities of persons in Wyoming and with 
special events in the State's history.